Cheetahs Bag Full House
The Free State Cheetahs produced a stellar second half performance to beat Griquas 29-16 in their Currie Cup encounter at GWK Park in Kimberley Saturday afternoon.
Coach Naka Drotské's men dug deep after an average first half in which Griquas did most of the playing.
Like last week against Western Province, the wind seemed to be the home side's curse and the Peacock Blues struggled to finish off their attacks.
The Cheetahs had an untidy start and in the first half never looked like the same side that ran over the Blue Bulls last week.
Johan Goosen had a couple of attempts at goal in the wind, one of them falling short from a distance of 67 metres, but he slotted his side's first penalty goal in the 32nd minute to put the visitors on the scoreboard.
The teams went into the break with the score level on 10 points all after big lock Ligtoring Landman and winger Rocco Jansen scored in succession for the hosts before flanker Lappies Labuschagne dotted down for the visitors on the half time siren.
Goosen kicked the conversion to end a lacklustre first 40 minutes.
The Cheetahs came back looking more determined on defence and attack. Their discipline, unfortunately, was still left wanting and Griquas fly half Francois Brummer made them pay with his kicking boot.
The Cheetahs regained composure and the lead when flanker Frans Viljoen went over in the corner after some good attacking play. Goosen's replacement, Sias Ebersohn, converted.
The visitors stretched their lead when young winger Raymond Rhule finished a break by scrum half Sarel Pretorius.
Griquas hung on by the skin of their teeth after Brummer kicked another penalty, but the hosts needed to produce some of the same quality play they dished up in the first half, which they failed to do.
Pretorius scored the Cheetahs bonus point try against his former side and replacement Nico Scheepers converted to give the Bloemfontein-based side a 13 point lead.
Like last weekend against the Western Province, Griquas were worn out in the last 15 minutes and struggled to keep possession.
The visitors improved their discipline and used the ball to great effect.
The hosts defended well - the only positive to come out of another long day at the office.
SARugby.com Man of the Match: Sarel Pretorius.
Griquas : Tries: Ligtoring Landman, Rocco Jansen. Penalties: Francois Brummer (2).
Free State Cheetahs: Tries: Lappies Labuschagne, Frans Viljoen, Raymond Rhule, Sarel Pretorius. Conversions: Johan Goosen, Sias Ebersohn, Nico Scheepers. Penalties: Johan Goosen.