Carling Currie Cup Match Report: Toyota Cheetahs Edge Western Province in Tough Encounter in Bloemfontein

Carling Currie Cup Match Report: Toyota Cheetahs Edge Western Province in Tough Encounter in Bloemfontein

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:58 PM
  • The Toyota Free State Cheetahs earned a hard-fought 24-17 Carling Currie Cup victory over DHL Western Province at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Wednesday evening
  • The home side scored three tries through Marnus van der Merwe, flank Gideon van der Merwe and replacement utility back, Reinhardt Fortuin
  • WP scoring two of their own through wing Angelo Davids - a try of the season contender - and replacement flank Roelof Smit

Scrumhalf and captain, Ruan Pienaar landed three conversions and a penalty while Province flyhalf, Kade Wolhueter landed two conversions and a monster penalty of his own.

The first half was a tough affair with Province showing early promise and looking the more enterprising side but their handling and protection of the ball let them down on numerous occasions.

Carling Currie Cup Match Report: Toyota Cheetahs vs DHL Western Province
Electrifying DHL Western Province wing Angelo Davids scores a sensational try against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Image source: @WPRugby/Twitter
Source: Twitter

As reported by SuperSport, they did come close to scoring the opening try of the game when wing Sergeal Petersen produced a perfect cross-kick towards Davids on the left wing but the young winger knocked the ball on trying to gather and score.

Province did get the chance to open the scoring when Free State were penalised at ruck time. Wolhuter, eight metres inside his own half, produced a monster kick that sailed over the crossbar to hand the visitors the lead after 17 minutes.

The visitors did not allow the home side’s maul to function and defended brilliantly every time the Cheetahs tried to maul for the line and the sides went into the break with Province leading by a slender three points and leaving Free State without a single shot at goal.

The home side found some momentum and opened their account with the first try of the game.

A smart move from a lineout left the Province defence in confusion and Van der Merwe wheeled his way over the line.

The hosts then turned up the heat and five minutes later were on the scoresheet again and this time their maul was unstoppable as flanker Van der Merwe controlled well as the maul brushed aside Province’s attempted defence.

The visitors did not give up and produced one of the tries of the season. Replacement Rikus Pretorius broke out from his own tryline with some neat side stepping, allowing Province to break out from their 22m area.

Pretorius offloaded to Davids, who had eyes on Rosko Specman ahead of him, but Specman was flattened and Province managed to send the ball through a few hands before Davids finished off in the left corner. Wolhuter converted from the tightest of angles to bring the visitors to within four points.

But then captain and flanker Nama Xaba was sin-binned with 10 minutes left on the clock for cynical play with the Cheetahs on the attack. Referee Morne Ferreira had no choice but to send the Province captain to the bin and Pienaar landed the simple penalty to push the hosts out by seven points.

With Xaba off the park, the Cheetahs scored their third try, this time with a nice break from Pienaar down the right, before the ball made its way to the middle of the pitch where Frans Steyn broke a few tackles and offloaded to Fortuin, who ran an excellent angle to score under the poles, giving Pienaar an easy conversion.

Province won a penalty and mauled from the lineout only for the Cheetahs to collapse the maul with time up on the clock. Flanker Marcel Theunissen tapped and charged for the line and after a few attempts, Smit barged over to score.

Wolhuter landed the all-important conversion to hand Province a losing bonus point but the victory leaves the Cheetahs top of the Currie Cup log and unbeaten after five games, while Province have now lost four of their five matches to date.

Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
Editor- Local Desk
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