The Free State Cheetahs and the Sharks played to a 34-34 draw in the Absa Currie Cup final round robin stage at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday. The Cheetahs advance to the semi-finals and will face the Golden Lions next. At half-time the score was 17-13, in what was end-to-end stuff.
The visitors started well as the hosts cracked under pressure giving away three penalties in the first five minutes, two of which Joe Pietersen converted. Both Pietersen and Sias Ebersohn missed essential attempts on goal. Every time Franco Smith’s side scored the Durbanites came back in a first half that was proving to be an intense affair.
Franco Marais came storming out of the attack and offloaded to Etienne Oosthuizen to regain the lead at 8-7 before Jaco Reinanch got the ball which took the score to 14-13. Ebersohn converted a penalty to make it 17-13 at the interval. Gary Gold’s charges began to assert themselves in the second half after Paul Jordaan scored an excellent try after a brilliant break by Pietersen.
Odwa Ndugane also set up Garth April for another try for the away side while Pietersen added two penalties. Gold’s men might have felt as if they had done enough , but it was not the case. Smith’s side enjoyed an incredible last five minutes of the game scoring two converted tries to draw level and secure a semi-final spot.