Giteau guides Western Force to close win

Matt Giteau scored all his team’s points — including a penalty goal in the fourth minute after the final whistle — to lead the Western Force over the Cheetahs 16-15 on Friday.

The Cheetahs could have won the Super 14 match with a penalty in the 80th minute, but a miss by replacement flyhalf Conrad Barnard led to a final series of attacks by the Force, with Giteau kicking for goal from 28m out in front of the poles.

The Force went ahead 13-12 after Barnard came on for Jacques-Louis Potgieter in the 55th minute without clearance from the match officials. Barnard made amends nine minutes later when his penalty kick took the Cheetahs back in front.

The Cheetahs were first on the score board with a try on the right by fullback Hennie Daniller. He finished off a movement started on the left when winger Gavin Passens breached the line. The ball was shovelled out in the other direction, and slick handling allowed Daniller to cut inside from the touchline to cross.

The Force responded with a long period of sustained attack, and Giteau took a neat inside pass from captain Nathan Sharpe to dive over untouched behind the poles. He converted his own try, and kicked a penalty nine minutes later.

But the Cheetahs managed to absorb the attack with some strong tackling, and then a clearing kick was chased by Passens who knocked on with the line open in front of him.

From the scrum, openside flanker Heinrich Brussow picked up a loose ball and charged over for an unconverted try on the left to give the Cheetahs an unexpected 12-10 lead at half-time. — Sapa-AP

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