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Lions 28 (6) vs Cheetahs 38 (16)

Lions come up short against the Cheetahs

Cheetahs remain our bogey team 

The Cheetahs are the team that we've got the worst record against since 1991, we only have a 45% win ratio against them over that period, and they've beaten us in the last four Currie Cup matches we've played. It was no different on Friday evening, they beat us once again, 38-28 in a pulsating match at Ellis Park.

Something new from the Lions at the start of the game, the forwards were on the right and Rose kicked to the left, where one of the backs managed to re-gathered the ball and allowed the Lions to hit left and right a few times, but the Cheetahs eventually turned the ball over and got deep inside the Lions territory where they were awarded a penalty when the Lions went offside. Chris Rossouw kicked the easy penalty to put the Cheetahs in an early 3-0 lead.

Soon afterwards the Lions got back into Cheetah territory and it allowed Earl Rose to level the scores with a drop goal.

The Cheetahs were a bit unlucky 15 minutes into the match, they were awarded a penalty for a swinging arm tackle by the Lions, this on the halfway line, but Chris Rossouw hit the left upright with his penalty attempt.

The Lions came very close to scoring when they established an overlap on the left, and Benjamin came within inches of scoring, but was tackled on the line, the ball came out to the right and unfortunately Willem Alberts just wasn't able to control the ball and score the try.

On 20 minutes the Lions were awarded a penalty just outside the Cheetahs 22 for offside play, and Earl Rose had no problem to kick the penalty to make it 6-3 for the Lions.

Ten minutes later the Lions went offside just outside their 22, giving Chris Rossouw a chance to level the scores which he duly took.

Jano Vermaak made a huge error 5 minutes later, spear tackling a Cheetah and receiving a yellow card for his effort. This also put the Cheetahs on the attack, and though they didn't immediatly capatalise on the extra man, it was only a couple of phases later that the played the ball left from a ruck close to the lions try-line and David de Villiers on second receiver managed to run in the try. Rossouw converted to put the Cheetahs in a 13-6 lead.

The Lions transgressed just inside their half at a ruck minutes later, and this time Rossouw made no mistake with the penalty, the Cheetahs now in a commanding 16-6 lead. That was also the score at halftiime.

The Lions started strongly in the second half, and it wasn't long before the Cheetahs conceded a penalty just outside their 22. Rose kicked it to make the score 16-9 for the visitors.

Then a crushing blow for the Lions, from their own scrum just inside their half, they managed to wheel the scrum, and Hendro Scholtz picked it up and ran in the try. Rossouw converted to make it 23-9 for the visitors.

Ross Geldenhuys was on the field at this stage, and carried the ball nicely upfield towards the Cheetahs 22, where the Lions then hit left and Benjamin had the overlap and ran in the try on the left. Rose converted to make it 23-16 for the visitors.

The next points did go the way of the Cheetahs, when the Lions went offisde just outside their 22 and allowed Rossouw to kick another penalty.

The Lions hit back right away, it started when Willem Alberts fielded a kick just inside his 22 on the right, he chipped the 2 Cheetahs defenders, re-gathered and fed the support on his left, the lions hit left and from the ruck that formed, came right again where Rose found himself on the wing, and he managed to score with 2 defenders tackling him. He also kicked the difficult conversion to make it 26-23 for the visitors. Willem Alberts was injured in the move and replaced by Ernst Joubert. Wheeler was also on for Franco van der Merwe.

Then it was end to end stuff, both teams attacking with everything they've got, and eventually the Cheetahs scored a spectacular try by JW Jonker in the right corner, not converted by Tewis de Bruin, but the Cheetahs in a 31-23 lead with about 5 minutes to go, and Loffie sent Ettas, Jonck and Strydom up for the last 5 mins, much too late for these players to make an impact.

Neil Powell rubbed salt in the Lions wounds at the end when he picked the ball up from a Cheetahs scrum and beat all the defenders to score under the poles. Tewis de Bruin converted to make it 38-23

Rayno Benjamin had the last say when he got the ball in space on the left on the halfway line and managed to beat the cover defense to score in the corner. Rose missed the difficult conversion on the hooter, and the final score 38-28 for the Cheetahs.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
 Rayno Benjamin(2), Earl Rose    
Cons: Earl Rose(2)              
Earl Rose(2)          
Drops: Earl Rose          

For the Cheetahs:
 David de Villiers, Hendro Scholtz, JW Jonker, Neil Powell
Cons: Chris Rossouw(2), Tewis de Bruyn           
Pens: Chris Rossouw(4)             

Yellow card: Jano Vermaak(30)
Red card: None 

Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar(c), 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Lawrence Sephaka, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Ernst Joubert, 19 Justin Wheeler, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Wilton Pietersen, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Fabian Juries, 10 Chris Rossouw, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kabamba Floors, 6 Hendro Scholtz(c), 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 David de Villiers, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Richard Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.  
Replacements: 16 Riaan Kruger, 17 Phillip Lemmer, 18 Flip van der Merwe/Nico Breedt, 19 Schalk van der Merwe, 20 Neill Powell, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter.

Referee: Marius Jonker (Saru)  
Touch judges: Francois Veldsman (Boland) and Peet Badenhorst(Lions)
TV Match Official:
  Michael Cupido (Lions)

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