Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Late Cheetahs Surge Sinks Sharks in Semi-Final Thriller

Late Cheetahs Surge Sinks Sharks in Semi-Final Thriller

Phendulani Buthelezi of the Cell C Sharks looks to tackle Ox Nche of the Free State Cheetahs during the Currie Cup match between the Cell C Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban

The Free State Cheetahs scored a late flurry of tries to beat the Sharks 51-30 in the second Currie Cup semi-final at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sports - Hollywoodbets 

Franco Smith's men will now host the Golden Lions in the final in Bloemfontein next week.

The Cheetahs failed to make the most of a number of opportunities in the first-half and trailed 11-20 at the break. They came back roaring in the second, though, and claimed an emphatic victory in the end.

After controlling the game for much of the opening exchanges, the Sharks had just 34% possession to speak of in the second forty and ultimately slumped to a disappointing defeat.

The defending champions simply could not contain the intensity the Cheetahs showed late on, with their wide game proving too hot for them to handle.

The visitors had gotten off to a flyer when Curwin Bosch scored a stunning try inside the opening two-minutes after clever incisive play from Aphelele Fassi.

A Junior Pokomela score and two penalties from Tian Schoeman temporarily reined the Durbanites in, but a penalty from Bosch, as well as tries to Sanele Nohamba and Lwazi Mvovo saw them take the lead at halftime.

Bosch added another penalty in the second-half but the Cheetahs scored three quick-fire tries through William Small-Smith, Man of the Match Ruan Pienaar and Joseph Dweba to take an unlikely lead with a quarter to go.

Moments after being smashed in a tackle by Ox Nche, Bosch bagged his second of the evening to put the men in black and white back in the contest.

However, Pokomela's second try, as well as further five-pointers to Nche and replacement Jasper Wiese saw the 2016 champions comfortably home.

Tries: Pokomela (2), Small-Smith, Pienaar, Dweba, Nche, Wiese
Cons: Pienaar (5)
Pens: Meyer (2)

Tries: Bosch (2), Nohamba, Mvovo
Cons: Bosch (2)
Pens: Bosch (2)

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Tian Meyer (capt), 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjesi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Reinach Venter, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Darren Adonis.

Cell C Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward (co-captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 JP Pietersen.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets 

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