Cheetahs forced to dig deep in win from behind against Lions

The Cheetahs never had it all their way in their 35-26 win over the Lions in a Currie Cup encounter on Friday night.

As It Happened: Lions v Cheetahs

The visitors’ excellent second-half performance saw them claim victory in a game where the Lions took an early lead but couldn’t hold on as poor discipline cost them dearly.

The home side were forced into a change before kick-off with flanker Emmanuel Tshituka forced to withdraw from the racing squad.

He was replaced by Lindo Ncusane and Mark Snyman was benched.

After weathering an early storm from the Cheetahs, the Lions who opened the scoring after deft handling saw winger Stean Pienaar overcome the whitewash in the 12th minute.

Full-back Tiaan Swanepoel converted as the home side opened a 7-0 lead.

Swanepoel extended that lead to 10-0 with a 16th-minute penalty after Frans Steyn was penalized for a high tackle.

The Cheetahs then had two tries disallowed for offenses in the build-up as they went scoreless for a quarter into the game.

Another 26th-minute penalty from Swanepoel extended the Lions’ lead to 13-0 after Ruan Pienaar was penalized for going offside during a ruck.

It was a lucky case of third time for the Cheetahs as they finally scored a legal try in the 27th minute when Gideon van der Merwe crashed after a perfect maul.

Pienaar added the extras as the visitors cut the Lions lead to 13-7

The Cheetahs then took a 14-13 lead in the 37th minute after Marnus van der Merwe scored a converted try on another excellent rolling maul.

The Lions, however, attacked from the restart and were rewarded with a 20-14 half-time lead after Ncusane crashed out for a converted try.

Swanepoel and Pienaar then exchanged penalties early in the second half as the score improved to 23-17 in the 50th minute.

Another Swanepoel penalty saw the Lions extend their lead to 26-17 with a quarter remaining in the game.

The Cheetahs once again looked to their impressive rolling maul to get back into the game as they hammered the Lions line.

Eventually the ball went past winger Duncan Saal who scored in the right corner.

Pienaar netted the conversion from a tight angle as the hosts’ lead was reduced to 26-24.

As the Cheetahs forwards began to take control and penalties bled from the Lions, the Cheetahs hit the forward for the second time of the game at 27-26, courtesy of another Pienaar penalty.

The home side, however, weren’t helped when substitute flank Junior White was carded in the 70th minute for a high tackle.

The visitors then sealed their victory with a bonus point from a comeback from behind as substitute hooker Louis van der Westhuizen scored a converted try from another rolling maul to give the Cheetahs a 32-26 lead just four minutes away. of the end.

Another Pienaar penalty one minute from time secured the Cheetahs a 35-26 win.

This victory allows the Cheetahs to remain at the top of the standings while the Lions are still in 8th place.


the Lions

Essays: Stean Pienaar, Lindo Ncusane

Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (2)

Penalties: Tiaan Swanepoel (4)


Essays: Gideon van der Merwe, Marnus van der Merwe, Duncan Saal, Louis van der Westhuizen

Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (3)

Penalties: Ruan Pienaar (3)


the Lions

15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Manuel Rass, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner (captain), 8 Jarod Cairns, 7 Lindo Ncusane, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Cal Smid, 4 Lunga Ncube, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.

Subs: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Heiko Pohlmann, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Junior White, 20 Mark Snyman, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Luke Rossouw, 23 Ilunga Mukendi.


15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Duncan Saal, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Mihlali Mosi, 7 Jeandrè Rudolph, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Aidon Davis, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Cameron Dawson.

Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Marne Coetzee, 19 Ockie Barnard, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Siya Masuku, 23 Robert Ebersohn.

Charles P. Patton