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Lions 10 vs Cheetahs 16

Lions go down to Cheetahs

Cheetahs avoid wooden spoon 

The Lions and Cheetahs played to avoid the wooden spoon in the Super 14 competition on Saturday, and the Cheetahs managed to beat the Lions and thus the Lions finished last of the South African teams on the Super 14 log.

Andre Pretorius started the match for the Lions, well taken by the Cheetahs, but putting themselves a little bit under pressure when Oelschig's kick was charged down and into touch. From the line-out the Cheetahs drove the ball up about 30 meters, a good start for the Cheetahs.

The Lions first opportunity for points came after three minutes, when they were awarded a penalty for a Cheetah player joining a ruck from the side. Vermaak took it quickly and was tackled by Vermeulen, who never retreated the 10 meters, and the penalty was given 10 meters closer to the Cheetah line, just outside their 22 meter area. Pretorius made no mistake to put the Lions in a 3-0 lead.

The next 10 minutes saw some exciting running rugby, and it was clear that both teams were going to play a running game.

The Lions had another chance after 11 minutes, when Pretorius opted for a line-out from a penalty just meters from the Cheetah line. The Lions forwards drove the ball over the Cheetah line, but lost the ball forward in the process of trying to dot it down.

23 minutes into the game Andre Pretorius left the field with what looked like a knee injury, and he was replaced by Ashwin Willemse, with Earl Rose who was on for Wylie Human, moving to Flyhalf. 

33 minutes into the game the Cheetahs got their first point from aWillem de Waal penalty, the Lions infringed at a line-out on the halfway line, and the score was 3-3.

37 minutes into the game the Cheetahs got another chance for points from the halfway line, when Jaque Fourie was penalised for a spear tackle, and again Willem de Waal made no mistake, putting the Cheetahs 6-3 ahead, and that was also the halftime score.

4 minutes into the 2nd half Reynecke and Smit replaced Wepener and Mujati for the Lions

At this stage it was almost like both teams played like they were wishing the Super 14 season was over already.

13 minutes into the 2nd half the Cheetahs came very close to scoring the first try of the match, this from a line-out just outside the Lions 22 after Earl Rose kicked a ball straight into touch. The Cheetahs mauled the ball up to close to the Lions try-line, where desperate defence kept the Cheetahs out, and Januarie managed to steal a ball from Oelschig after the last tackle.

17 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions found themselves back on their try-line, defending another Cheetah line-out after a great touchfinder from a penalty by De Waal. Again the Lions managed to defend the Cheetah maul and keep them from scoring a try.

22 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions eventually scored the first try of the match, Doppies la Grange managed to break the line on about the Cheetahs 10 meter line, and with just the fullback to beat, passed back infield to Ashwin Willemse, who had to run in from about the 22 meter line and just Juan Smith to beat, which he managed and dotted down under the poles. Rose converted to make the Lions lead 10-6.

Unfortunately the Cheetahs hit straight back with a try of their own, when a Cheetah player fielded a kick in his own half, ran it back at the Lions, and chipped it over the defensive line, where a Lions defender touched it and it went straight into the hands of Eddie Fredericks, who had no one in front of him and he ran in the try. Willem de Waal converted, the score 13-10 for the Cheetahs.

The Cheetahs went further ahead 31 minutes into the 2nd half from a Bevin Fortuin drop goal from about the Lions 10 meter line.

With about 7 minutes to go Willem de Waal attempted another penalty from just inside his half close to the touchline, but his kick was short.

With 2 minutes to go, the Lions had a line-out from a penalty just 5 meters from the Cheetah line, but good defense from the Cheetahs kept them out, and forced a Cheetah scrum, and that was the end of the game, another loss for the Lions. 

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Ashwin Willemse  
Cons: Earl Rose        
Andre Pretorius 

For the Cheetahs:
Eddie Fredericks         
Cons: Willem de Waal   
Pens: Willem de Waal(2)      
Bevin Fortuin     

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jaco Pretorius, 10 Andre Pretorius(c), 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Ernst Joubert, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Geo Cronje, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Bertus Smit, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Enrico Januarie, 21 Ashwin Willemse, 22 Earl Rose.

Cheetahs: 15. Bevin Fortuin, 14. Phillip Burger , 13. Ronnie Cooke/Marius Joubert, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Eddie Fredericks, 10. Willem de Waal, 9. Noel Oelschig, 8. Ryno van der Merwe, 7. Juan Smith(c), 6. Duane Vermeulen, 5. Corniel van Zyl, 4. Rory Duncan, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Richardt Strauss, 1. Os du Randt.
Replacements: 16. Hans Jacob van Dyk, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. CJ van der Linde, 19. Bian Vermaak, 20. Kabamba Floors, 21. Michael Claassens, 22. Alwyn Hollenbach.  

Referee: Phillip Bosch (SA) 
Touch judges: Marius Jonker (SA) and Willie Roos (SA)
TV Match Official:
Gareth Lloyd-Jones (SA)

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