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Connacht take their chances against Cheetahs for clean sweep of South African tour

Connacht win three straight Pro14 games for the first time since March 2017.

Cian Kelleher and Darren Adonis tangle.
Cian Kelleher and Darren Adonis tangle.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Toyota Cheetahs 17
Connacht 21

CONNACHT WILL RETURN to Ireland with their heads held high after becoming just the third visiting team to win both matches during a tour to South Africa.

Andy Friend’s side beat the Toyota Cheetahs 21-17 in Bloemfontein to join the Glasgow Warriors and Munster as the only Guinness Pro14 teams to achieve the rare feat.

Tom Farrell opened the scoring in the City of Roses when he cut through the Cheetahs defence in the seventh minute, and Jack Carty made no mistake in adding the extra two points.

Carty extended Connacht’s lead in the 22nd minute by sending a penalty sailing through the uprights. Poor discipline by the Cheetahs lead to Connacht’s second try some seven minutes later when Gavin Thornbury managed to dot down following a strong lineout drive.

The Cheetahs finally got on the board in the 31st minute with the fleet-footed Malcolm Jaer flying over the tryline to round off an individual piece of brilliance, although out-half Louis Fouché was unable to convert.

As was the case with Connacht, the Cheetahs’ second try was also the result of ill-discipline, hooker Joseph Dweba crashing over from a strong lineout drive shortly before half time. Fouché was once again unable to convert, leaving it 15-10 in favour of the visitors at the break.

David Horwitz, Connacht’s replacement out-half, made it an eight-point game in the 57th minute by slotting his first penalty of the game. A short while later he landed his second attempt on goal for what was ultimately the kill shot.

Cheetahs captain Shaun Venter gave his side some hope in the last 10 minutes of the match when he rounded off a try which stared deep in their own half, and this time Tian Schoeman took over the kicking duties and added the extra two points.

However, the Cheetahs were the architects of their own demise as there were numerous chances on offer throughout the game but the finishing touches just weren’t there. 

Toyota Cheetahs scorers:

Tries: Malcolm Jaer, Joseph Dweba, Shaun Venter

Conversions: Louis Fouché [0 from 2], Tian Schoeman [1 from 1]

Connacht scorers:

Tries: Tom Farrell, Gavin Thornbury

Conversions: Jack Carty [1 from 2]

Penalties: Jack Carty [1 from 1], David Horwitz [2 from 2]

CHEETAHS: Malcolm Jaer; Rhyno Smith, William Small-Smith, Nico Lee (Tian Schoeman 37′), Darren Adonis (Rudy Paige 65′); Louis Fouche, Shaun Venter; Ox Nche (Carhles Marais 59), Joseph Dweba, Erich De Jager (Johannes Coetzee 29′); Sintu Manjezi (Justin Basson 51′), JP Du Preez (Justin Basson 12′); Junior Sipato Pokomela (Daniel Maartens 51′), Abongile Nonkontwana, Gerhardus Olivier.

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun (Cian Kelleher 32′), Kyle Godwin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy; Jack Carty (David Horwitz 50′), Caolin Blade (James Mitchell 71′); Denis Buckley (Peter McCabe 64′), Tom McCartney (Shane Delahunt 53′), Conor Carey (Dominic Robertson-McCoy 41′); Ultan Dillane, Gavin Thornbury (James Cannon 65′); Paul Boyle, Jarrad Butler, Robin Copeland (Colby Fainga’a 53′).

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About the author:

Morgan Piek

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