Terrific Cheetahs seal the deal

The Cheetahs of 2013 are history makers in qualifying for Super Rugby’s play-offs.

Good on them. They deserved it and put egg on my face every second week. I rarely backed them to win and I didn’t back them to win in Bloemfontein against a Blues team I overestimated.

The Cheetahs were superior in every phase of play in winning 34-13 and the Blues limp back to Auckland with a ninth defeat in 15 starts.

The Cheetahs, who will get four league points for a bye next weekend cannot be overtaken by any of the teams placed seventh or lower, and the 54 points should see them finish sixth.

The boys from Bloem are likely to play the Brumbies in Canberra, who at this stage will finish third.

The Cheetahs have beaten every Australia side in the league stages but this season did not play the Brumbies.

If they beat the Brumbies then they could also claim to be the unofficial domestic champions of Australia.

Lappies Labuschagne was named man of the match and Heinrich Brussow was again outstanding.

The win ended the mathematical play-off prospects of the Sharks and Stormers and the only contribution either side can now make to this year’s tournament is to hamper the Bulls charge to the top of the table and a home semi-final and hopefully a home final.

Cheetahs – Tries: Philip van der Walt, Sarel Pretorius, Boom Prinsloo. Conversions: Riaan Smit (2). Penalties: Smit (5).
Blues – Try: Jamison Gibson-Park. Conversion: Baden Kerr. Penalties: Kerr (2).