The Toyota Cheetahs hosted the Vodacom Bulls at the Free State Stadium on Friday evening in a mouthwatering Super Rugby clash looking to overturn their terrible 11 straight losses to the side since 2006 in this tournament. The trending question leading into this encounter was, who will suffer a second consecutive defeat?
The Bulls lost their opening game at the Sharks last weekend while the Cheetahs went down against fellow felines, the Lions after a dramatic late drop goal.
The hosts took the lead after just one minute through a Johan Goosen drop goal. The irony was not lost on the home supporters. The Cheetahs came to this game with an unchanged squad from the one that lost to the Lions while the Bulls made two forced changes, one being Jacques Engelbrecht coming in place for the injured Pierre Spies in very wet conditions.
After being 6-0 down, the Bulls tried to claw their way back in the 22nd minute through a Louis Fouche penalty but Goosen restored the Cheetahs 3 point lead two minutes later with another penalty. Naka Drotske’s men kept extending their lead with one penalty after another to ensure a 12-3 lead heading into the break.
Ten minutes into the second stanza, Jacques Du Plessis was sent for a concussion test and in his place came debutant Wian Liebenberg. A minute later the Bulls cut the Cheetahs lead to 6 points through a Handre Pollard penalty but Goosen restored the 9 point lead eight minutes thereafter with another well struck penalty. In the 78th minute the Cheetahs were adjudged to have scrummed illegally and the visitors slotted over the penalty kick to dignify their loss with a bonus point however the Cheetahs are up and running with the 15-9 win while Frans Ludeke’s side return to the capital without a win.