Gerhard Steenkamp/INPHO Barry Daly scored a hat-trick but Leinster slipped to defeat.
# big scalp
Leinster beaten in South Africa as Cullen's men stunned by the Cheetahs
Barry Daly’s hat-trick was in vain as the hosts recorded a famous win.

Cheetahs 38

Leinster 19

Morgan Piek reports from Bloemfontein

A HAT-TRICK of tries by the Leinster winger, Barry Daly, was not good enough to prevent the Toyota Cheetahs from making a big statement on Friday evening by winning their second Guinness Pro14 game in a row, with a bonus point.

The Cheetahs beat the three-time champions, 38-19, to also hand the eastern province their first defeat of the campaign.

It was the hosts who opened the scoring when out-half Ernst Stapelberg landed a long-range penalty in just the second minute of the game. Leo Cullen’s side did strike back a short while later when Daly crossed the whitewash for his first try.

Leinster were struck by a huge blow in the 15th minute of the game when captain Isa Nacewa was forced to leave the park with a lower-leg injury.

It just proved how cruel the game of rugby can be, taking into account that after three flights between Ireland and South Africa he spent less than a quarter of the game on the field.

22-year-old Stapelberg kept the scoreboard ticking with his boot and landed a further three penalties before the break.

Cheetahs players clap off the Leinster team after the game Gerhard Steenkamp / INPHO Gerhard Steenkamp / INPHO / INPHO

The first defining moment of the game came in the 37th minute when a strong Cheetahs scrum just outside their 22 led to scrumhalf Tian Meyer breaking away to offload to the captain Francois Venter, who in his turn sent William Small-Smith flying over for a converted try.

This saw the Cheetahs take a 19-5 lead at the break.

Four minutes into the second 40, hooker James Tracy was yellow carded for a grass-cutter, and the resulting penalty lineout led to the Cheetahs hooker and Namibian international Torsten van Jaarsveld crashing over.

The Cheetahs replacement prop Ox Nche powered his way over in the 57th minute to hand the hosts a healthy 31-5 lead, however, Leinster hadn’t thrown in the towel yet.

A mere three minutes later, Daly crossed for his second try and the Leinster fight continued. The last 20 minutes the visitors surprised everyone and actually looked the fresher of the two teams, and were able to the pile the pressure on the Free Staters.

The relentless pressure resulted in Daly dotting down for a fantastic treble, but it has to be said he came agonisingly close to crossing the whitewash four times.

Leinster pushed to the very end and were well on the attack in the 80th minute, when the Cheetahs flier Luther Obi intercepted and dotted down for the Cheetahs’ valuable bonus-point.

Joey Carbery and Ernst Stapelberg Gerhard Steenkamp / INPHO Gerhard Steenkamp / INPHO / INPHO

Leinster fly back to Dublin on Saturday and on Monday the prep begins ahead of hosting Edinburgh at the RDS on Friday evening.

The Cheetahs will fancy their chances next week when they host a strong looking Ospreys in what will be a rugby festival in Bloemfontein.

Toyota Cheetahs scorers:Tries: William Small-Smith, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Ox Nche, Luther Obi
Penalties: Ernst Stapelberg [4 from 4]
Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg [3 from 4]Leinster scorers:

Tries: Barry Daly 3
Penalties: Ross Byrne [2 from 3]
Conversions: Ross Byrne [0 from 1]

TOYOTA CHEETAHS: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Rosco Specman, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Oupa Mohoje, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Tier Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.

Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Aranos Coetzee, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Luther Obi.

LEINSTER: 15 Joey Carbery, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Noel Reid, 12 Isa Nacewa (captain), 11 Barry Daly, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Bent, 2 James Tracy, 1 Cian Healy.

Replacements: 16 Seán Cronin, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Cathal Marsh, 23 Rory O’Loughlin.​ 

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