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Cheetahs run riot to secure first-ever victory over Munster

The match at the Toyota Stadium was a scrappy affair during the first half, but it did spring to life in the second.

Junior Pokomela of Toyota Cheetahs scores a try despite the efforts of Jack O'Donoghue of Munster.
Junior Pokomela of Toyota Cheetahs scores a try despite the efforts of Jack O'Donoghue of Munster.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/INPHO

THE TOYOTA CHEETAHS continued their purple patch with a solid 40-16 bonus-point win over Munster in Bloemfontein during round three of the Guinness PRO14. The win was the South Africans’ first-ever victory over their Irish counterparts, and more importantly, was their third on the bounce.

The match at the Toyota Stadium was a scrappy affair during the first half, but it did spring to life in the second when the Cheetahs shifted gears and held onto their possession a lot better, which enabled them to play their more natural game.

The scoring was opened in the 10th minute of the match, when the Springbok loosehead prop, Ox Nche, crashed over for a try in what was his very last match for the Cheetahs.

The New Zealander, Tyler Blydendaal, got Munster on the board with a penalty in the 22nd minute and six minutes later, they doubled their score with a second three-pointer.

The Cheetahs struck with a second try in the 33rd minute, when the flanker, Junior Pokomela, went on the right corner. This time the captain, Ruan Pienaar, was unable to land the conversion.

On the stroke of half-time, Blydendaal successfully landed a third penalty to leave the score at 12-9 in favour of the Cheetahs.

The opening exchanges of the second half provided a lot more entertainment than the first 40. First, Blydendaal, hit the upright with a penalty. Then Munster were on the charge and it looked like Shane Daly could score, but a good tackle by William Small-Smith prevented the possible try. The Cheetahs managed to turn over the ball and after numerous phases, it was the very same Small-Smith who scored the home team’s third try.

The Cheetahs earned the bonus-point in the 56th minute following a strong lineout drive from a penalty, and it was the hooker, Joseph Dweba, who got up with the ball.

The in-form Rhyno Smith went over for a try following a chip-kick by Anthony Volmink. However, it was disallowed, as it was deemed that he was in front of the kicker, and it was the correct call.

Sustained pressure led to a Cheetahs penalty in the Munster red zone with less than 10 minutes remaining. Smith took a quick tap to send the replacement flanker, Japser Wiese, powering over for the score.

Dan Goggin managed to slip through for a Munster try and their only score of the half with five minutes left on the clock. Nevertheless, it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Smith scored on the stroke of full-time to add insult to injury.

Cheetahs scorers:

Tries: Ox Nche, Junior Pokomela, William Small-Smith, Joseph Dweba, Jasper Wiese, Rhyno Smith

Conversions: Ruan Pienaar [4 from 5], Tian Schoeman [1 from 1]

Munster scorers:

Tries: Dan Goggin

Conversions: JJ Hanrahan [1 from 1]

Penalty: Tyler Bleydendaal [3 from 4]

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Louis Fouché, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements – 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

Munster - 15 Mike Haley, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Dan Goggin, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Nick McCarthy, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Jeremy Loughman.

Replacements - 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 Keynan Knox, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Gavin Coombes, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Calvin Nash.

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About the author:

Morgan Piek

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