Cheetahs edge Pumas in Nelspruit thriller
19 August 2019 | Sports
The Pumas headed into the break five points clear, largely due to the impact of Alwayno Visagie, but were left shell-shocked as the Cheetahs came out firing in the second half.
Ruan Pienaar dived over in the 43rd minute, before Jasper Wiese and Benhard Janse van Rensburg helped put their side into a commanding position.
With a little more than 20 minutes to go, Jeandre Rudolph helped pull the Pumas closer, but Louis Fouche all but wrapped up the contest with his try in the 66th minute.
The Cheetahs pivot also won the battle of the boot, as he converted five of his side's six tries with Chris Smith missing two of his team's conversion attempts.
Visagie notched up his hat-trick in the 71st minute, but there would be no late comeback, as the Cheetahs held on tight for a vital win.
The thrill-a-minute encounter helped the visitors move up to second on the table, as they prepare to host Western Province in Bloemfontein next week.
The hosts finish the competition at the bottom of the pile, with just one win from six matches.
Scorers: Pumas 37 (22) Tries: Alwayno Visagie (3), Devon Williams and Jeandre Rudolph. Conversions: Chris Smith (3). Penalties: Smith (2).
Free State Cheetahs 43 (17) Tries: Benhard Janse van Rensburg (2), Clayton Blommetjies, Ruan Pienaar, Jasper Wiese and Louis Fouche. Conversions: Louis Fouche (5). Penalty: Fouche.