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Rhule has scored his second try, the conversion takes it to a seven point game. However, The Sharks successfully negotiate the remaining minutes to score a good win away from home.
Dell has a good run before the ball is recycled and Kyle Cooper has a barnstorming run through three players to score another try.
Allan Dell earns his first Currie Cup cap as he an the rest of the replacements come on, Tera Mtembu and Riaan Viljoen the others. The home side are on attack but Peet Marais does well to steal the ball on the ground. The Sharks earn a penalty and kick to touch. With a nine point lead, the game appears to be sewn up but The Sharks will look to end well.
The Sharks have taken a driving maul a good 20 metres into the Cheetahs 22 where they earn a penalty. They kick to touch and look to maul again. It's another penalty and the referee has strong words. They kick to touch again. They maul again and it's Jacques Botes doing great work again, this time he drops to the ground and places the ball over the tryline. It is referred to the TMO and it's the bonus point try. Meyer Bosman converts.
The Sharks concede a penalty for going off the feet trying to steal the ball and Free State kick to touch. They fail to make inroads on attack but earn another penalty after a few phases and this time they will kick for posts from a better position than earlier. Scheepers can't miss from in front and now the gap is just two points.
Sarel Pretorius manages to dive over to score his team's second try. It is converted as they reduce the deficit. Cobus Reinach and Peet Marais come on for The Sharks.
The Sharks are looking to work their way into Cheetahs territory and manage some good work on attack. Meyer Bosman is handed another penalty effort which he converts to cancel out the Free State penalty moments ago.
Free State earn a penalty, it's in front and Scheepers adds the three.
The Sharks have stuck right away, 20 seconds into the half as Paul Jordaan runs onto a kick ahead from Keegan Daniel with Odwa Ndungane starting the move with a nice break out the 22. Bosman converts.
There is a good passage of play from The Sharks before the ball is stolen in the tackle. Free State head upfield before they earn a penalty. The conversion attempt from Nico Scheepers glides across the face of the uprights. They have possession from the kick-off but throw a long pass which Odwa Ndungane takes to prevent further score. The ball is recycled and McLeod is able to clear to touch with the hooter having sounded.
The Sharks have done well, through Jean Deysel, to counter-ruck over the ball and win possession. They earn a penalty, kick to touch and attack. Charl McLeod makes a nice mini-break, JP Pietersen grubbers ahead and Free State give away another penalty. They take the quick tap before the ball goes out wide and it's Ndungane who is over for his second try.
The home side have made two mistakes on attack, a downside of playing at such a high tempo. The Sharks strike back, punishing them as Odwa Ndungane makes a good break and finishes after some excellent work from Kyle Cooper and Meyer Bosman. He combines with JP Pietersen to get his team's opening try.Meyer Bosman converts.
The conversion was good. Now The Sharks take the ball up nicely before earning a penalty which Meyer Bosman converts.
The Sharks are in trouble with some elusive running from the talented young wing Raymond Rhule who breaks through the defence to score. Scheepers converts from in front. Further misfortune for The Sharks sees Pieter Dixon leave the field injured. Kyle Cooper replaces him.
The Cheetahs are playing a high tempo game and have been rewarded with some good field position before earning a penalty. Wing Nico Scheepers has an easy shot just inside the 22 and makes no mistake as his team are on the scoreboard first.
Meyer Bosman, playing at flyhalf, gets the game underway with a long kick which Sarel Pretorius fails to hold. The Sharks can't hold on either but they get the scrum put-in on the 22. However, Pretorius redeems himself by stealing the ball at the scrum. They make their way downfield after a good break but a forward pass brings an end to the move.
Free State Cheetahs
Odwa Ndungane (2), Paul Jordaan, Jacques Botes, Kyle Cooper
Raymond Rhule (2), Sarel Pretorius
Meyer Bosman (3)
Nico Scheepers (3)
Meyer Bosman (2)
Nico Scheepers (3)
|Free State Cheetahs|
|Robert Ebersohn (capt)|
Keegan Daniel (Capt)
|Philip van der Walt |
| Izak van der Westhuizen|
|Marcel van der Merwe|
|AJ le Roux|
|Tewis de Bruyn|