Cheetahs pounce for late win over Rebels

Scrumhalf Petrus van Zyl scored an injury-time try to give the Central Cheetahs a dramatic first win of the Super 15 season in a 33-26 victory over the Melbourne Rebels on Sunday.

With the score tied at 26-26 and the clock ticking down, the Cheetahs recycled the ball through 16 phases, culminating in Van Zyl dashing over in the corner to clinch victory and leave the Rebels without a win in three outings.

The Rebels looked like escaping with a draw after trailing 10-20 at halftime but the Cheetahs went for broke, keeping the ball alive over 70m leading to Van Zyl’s game-winning try.

The Cheetahs had narrowly lost two of their previous three games before ending their barren spell on Sunday.

Winger Willie le Roux had an eventful match, scoring two of the Cheetahs’ three tries, including an interception off a wayward James O’Connor pass, before being yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down after the Rebels appeared certain to score in he 28th minute.


With the Rebels clawing their way back in the second half, Le Roux also gave away a crucial penalty which handed Melbourne the lead for the first time in the match just after the hour mark.

Flyhalf Johan Goosen took over as the tournament’s leading scorer with a match haul of 18 points with three conversions and four penalties from nine attempts.

Rebels’ new Wallaby recruit O’Connor starred for his side, compiling 21 points, including a second-half try, two conversions and four penalties.

O’Connor, starting at flyhalf for the Rebels for the first time with Englishman Danny Cipriani relegated to the substitutes’ bench, was in the thick of the action and scored an impressive try eight minutes after the interval.

It dented the Cheetahs comfortable early lead, secured after they jumped to a 20-7 advantage thanks to two tries from the explosive Le Roux.

The Cheetahs waned as the game wore on, going behind and relying on the sharpshooting Goosen to drag them back into contention with a penalty levelling at 26-26.

The Cheetahs had most of the ball for the final 10 minutes but desperate defending by the Rebels looked like it would be enough for a share of the points until Van Zyl’s intervention.

The Cheetahs now head to New Zealand where they will take on seven-time Super Rugby champions Canterbury Crusaders next weekend, while the Rebels host Western Force next Friday. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.

Leader’s principal aim to build IFP

Gravitas: Velenkosini Hlabisa brings his experience to his new post as leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police Minister Bheke Cele addresses Jeppestown

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown on Tuesday to speak to business owners and community leaders.
Advertising

Treasury presents Covid-19 corruption action plan

Reports of corruption, over-pricing and the delivery of sub-standard PPE have become the norm over the past five months as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic

Metro cops, SAPS clash over control

Tensions between the City of Cape Town and the police service over responsibilities mirrors the strain between national and local government
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday