The Cheetahs failed to score a fourth try in beating the Kings in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs won 26 – 12 after leading 15 – 9 at half time, but will rue the fact that they could not jump to the top of the South African conference by scoring an all important fourth try.
Respecting the Kings as they stated in the week, the Cheetahs built a lead by way of Burton Francis’ boot, before Raymond Rhule scored the first of three tries. Lappies Labuschagne rounded off the first half with a try of his own, which was also his last act of the match as he came off with an injured shoulder.
The breakdowns were dominated yet again by an in form Cheetahs trio, who outplayed the Kings loosies, who seemed to lack go forward. The Kings pack did make life difficult for the Cheetahs at scrum time though, with the referee looking clueless yet again in awarding penalties.
The star for the Cheetahs was Willie le Roux, though I feel he is too predictable in always backing his chip and chase tactic, which ends up in lost possession more often than not. Burton Francis impressed though, getting his backline moving and starting to find his feet as the all out attacking flyhalf.
For the Kings it is back to the drawing board, as they seem to lack punch up front and their heart and soul approach seems to be missing. It is a long season and it was expected that the players would tire at some stage and the match against the Waratahs next weekend will not make matters any easier.
The Cheetahs finally have their first bye of the season, after playing ten straight matches, a rest that will see them return the week after refreshed.
Cheetahs: 26 (15)
Tries: Raymond Rhule, Pieter Labuschagne, Willie le Roux
Conversions: Burton Francis (1)
Penalties: Burton Francis (3)
Kings: 12 (9)
Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (4)
By Richard Ferguson