The Cheetahs coasted to 42-20 win against regional neighbours Griquas.
The Cheetahs scored five tries to two and had the four-try bounus point within 50 minutes.
Boom Prinsloo scored two of the tries and enjoyed a strong game.
Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Boom Prinsloo (2), Raymond Rhule, Elgar Watts, Kevin Luiters. Conversions: Riaan Smit (2), Elgar Watts. Penalties: Smit, Watts (2).
Griquas – Tries: Rocco Jansen, Rory Arnold. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2). Penalties: Scheepers (2).
Free State Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 16 Wian du Preez, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque
Griquas – 15 PJ Vermeulen, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 JP Nel, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Burger Schoeman, 6 Carel Greeff, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Ryno Barnes (c), 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Patrick O’Brien, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Du Randt Gerber, 22 Richard Lawson.
Live commentary as it happened
80 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, WATTS 40-20. Watts brings the game to an end with yet another successful kick.
80 TRY, CHEETAHS, 38-20. The hooter goes but the Cheetahs aren’t interested in kicking it out. They break into the Griquas half with Watts running so strongly – he’s grown from strength to strength as this game has progressed. The hosts work it up right until the line. Replacement scrum-half Kevin Luiters throws a massive dummy at the base and Barnes buys, leaving Luiters to dive over and score his first Currie Cup try.
79 Jansen nearly gets clear but can’t hold on to the pass as he makes a half-break through the tackle. The ball goes backwards and Griquas try to get it going again but there is a knock on.
79 Another penalty at scrum time for the Cheetahs. From a line-out on halfway the Cheetahs spread it through the hands in slick fashion. They slice through the defence but a handling error brings the move to an end. Griquas try to turn on the attack but they butcher the attempt with the pass from Barnes flying into touch when Jansen was about to be set free. Good work from Matt Dobson as he wins the penalty at the breakdown with the Cheetahs man holding on.
76 Griquas keep the ball in hand and gradually gain ground into the Cheetahs half. The ball is knocked on by replacement Richard Lawson who proceeds to hoof the ball into the stands in frustration.
73 Better scrum from Griquas and it allows Karemaker to storm off the back. The ball is cleared to halfway and the Cheetahs take it quickly and look to attack. The ball is knocked on in the tackle.
72 Once again the Griquas scrum falls apart and Mohoje picks up the loose ball. The backs have a go but are perhaps guilty of a bit of over-elaboration and Rhule knocks on.
70 Another chip from Watts almost puts the Cheetahs away but Barnes gets back to collect. The ball wriggles out at the back of the ruck and Watts tries to get his hands on it but knocks on as he looks to grab possession.
69 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, WATTS 35-20. No mistake from Watts. Schoeman comes back on for Griquas so they’re now up to 14 men.
68 Two reset scrums as the seven-man Griquas scrum struggle. They eventually give away a penalty and Watts will go for posts.
65 The Cheetahs have a penalty from the halfway line because of the red card and they set up a line-out on the 22. From a static maul the ball is lost forward and Griquas have a momentary reprieve.
64 CONVERSION, GRIQUAS, SCHEEPERS 32-20. After that unfortunate incident, Scheepers adds the conversion.
63 There is an ugly moment here, with an allegation of biting against Arnold. Referee Joubert says that there are obvious bite marks on the arm of one of the Cheetahs players, I think it’s Ethienne Reynecke, says that the bite occurred. The TMO is consulted and replays show there was a bite. On his debut, Arnold has been red carded.
63 Good work from the Griquas forwards initially before Leon Karemaker cracks on a bit of pace and gets held up just short of the line. The ball comes back out though and Rory Arnold gets the try.
60 A high tackle from Brummer Badenhorst allows the Cheetahs to clear to halfway with the penalty. It’s the Cheetahs who are penalised at the ruck that follows though and Brummer pumps the ball 10m out from the Cheetahs line.
58 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, WATTS 32-13. The penalty is straight in front and Watts takes the easy three points.
57 The Cheetahs look to regain control as they win a penalty on halfway and set up the attacking line-out. They bring out their standard move, the maul, but Griquas are up to the task on this occasion, forcing Pretorius to swing the ball to the backs. Replacement Marnus Schoeman is pinged for going off his feet and with Griquas having been warned on previous occasions, it’s a yellow card.
54 CONVERSION, GRIQUAS, SCHEEPERS. Scheepers narrows the lead to 16.
53 TRY, GRIQUAS, JANSEN 29-11. Nicely done by Rocco Jansen! The ball is worked wide to the winger who has no space to move out wide so puts in a chip back in field. He turns on the gas and out-sprints the defence and just gets enough downward pressure on the ball as it rolls away in the in-goal area and notches up his side’s first five-pointer of the day!
52 Cynical stuff from Teboho Mohoje as he takes out Marnus Hugo as the Griquas scrum-half tries to take a quick tap on halfway. Griquas haven’t lost a line-out all day but they change that stat at the wrong time after setting up a line-out on the Cheetahs 22. The home side cough up possession though and Griquas are back on attack.
50 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, WATTS 29-6. The fly-half converts his own try.
49 TRY, CHEETAHS, WATTS 27-6. The Cheetahs are building up good rhythm and they pick up a bonus point try from a great flowing movement. From halfway the backs show great strength and awareness as the ball moves through the hands with ease. Rhule gets within inches before popping the ball up to Watts who trots over.
47 Griquas clear out of their half and put good pressure on the Cheetahs and are rewarded with a line-out on halfway. A knock forward from Mnisi in the midfield brings play to a halt.
45 Nick Schonert is penalised for illegal binding and the Cheetahs get the penalty. They go for the tap once more with Nyakane again the go-to man. The powerful forwards get closer and closer with each carry but as de Jager tries to go for the line he’s penalised for a double movement.After some consideration referee Joubert decides to consult the TMO regarding whether or not the initial go was over but he was just short.
43 The Cheetahs look to maul it up but the ball gets caught up and they can’t produce it – Griquas scrum.
42 Francois Brummer puts in a good clearance kick and puts the Cheetahs back in their half. The line-out is messy but the Cheetahs retain possession before Lood de Jager burst away. Griquas slow the ball down at the tackle and Watts sets up a line-out 5 out from the line with a great kick.
41 The Cheetahs have made a change during the break, with Smit replaced by Piet Lindeque. Elgar Watts gets us back underway.
40 Cheetahs 22-6 Griquas. The Cheetahs have dominated proceedings and rightly hold a strong lead at half-time. That isn’t to say they’ve been completely clinical but they’ve got the job done. Griquas face an uphill battle to get back into this.
40 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, SMIT 22-6. Two more to the score as the hosts put some daylight between themselves and their visitors.
40 Griquas try to take it quickly but they don’t escape their 22 and are forced to clear. From the line-out Watts puts in another sweet little chip over the top, the bounce favours Sadies who grabs it before handing it off to Ebersohn. The centre shrugs off one tackle and is over the line only to pass it back to Prinsloo who now has two tries!
39 The Cheetahs return the restart with an up and under into space and Schoeman is under pressure to take it. He does well though and Griquas attack. The ball goes loose and Rhule is away! The wing has pace but so does Vermeulen who just manages to reel him in and the full-back does really well to get back onto his feet and try to grab the ball. Rhule holds on though and concedes the penalty.
38 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, SMIT 15-6. From out wide Smit finds the target with the conversion.
37 TRY, CHEETAHS, RHULE 13-6. A knock on hands possession back to the Cheetahs and they work it through a number of phases, first keeping it tight before throwing the ball wide. Nice hands in the tackle from Prinsloo open things up for Nyakane who throws it wide to Raymond Rhule who cuts inside and dives over!
35 Super stuff from Pretorius! The scrum-half sprints away from the base of the scrum and chips over the top, rising highest to collect and handing it off to Phillip van der Walt. The flanker links up with fellow loose forward Prinsloo and as the ball is spread wide the try looks on for all money but Howard Mnisi does really well to somehow defend a three on one as Sadie is creamed, with the ball flying into touch,
33 Griquas look to move the ball from side to side but they’re under pressure and Roberts’ desire to offload quickly results in a forward pass.
31 A change of tactics from the Cheetahs as Watts puts in a nice little chip over the top and the Cheetahs backs swarm to collect but it goes forward off a Cheetahs hand and Griquas have a scrum on their 10m line.
30 Another good run from Greeff, but the ball is recycled only for the Cheetahs to rip it away in the tackle. The visitors are off-side and Pretorius takes a quick tap. Strong running from the Cheetahs as they barrage their way up to the Griquas 22. Great counter rucking from Griquas sees them win back possession and the ball is cleared to halfway.
27 A deep restart from Griquas is returned with interest but it’s not out and Griquas run it back at them. Poor from the Cheetahs as they concede a penalty for not rolling away and then give away another 10 metres for back chat and now the penalty is within kickable distance for Scheepers.
23 TRY, CHEETAHS, PRINSLOO 8-5. The Cheetahs opt to go for the maul from the line-out and initially Griquas defend it well, but the maul shifts around the side and the defence is unable to hold out as Brinsloo dives over.
22 Griquas are penalised for going off their feet at the ruck and the Cheetahs have a penalty 10 metres from the line. They set up a line-out 5 out as they hunt the first try of the match.
21 Carel Greeff carries strongly from the restart and it gives Francois Brummer the space to clear play to the halfway line. Nyakane is again used as a battering ram from the line-out with good effect. Great play for Sadie as he momentarily breaks free from the defence and the Cheetahs are within sight of the Griquas 22. The ball is lost forward though and Griquas get a let off.
19 PENALTY, GRIQUAS, SCHEEPERS 3-6. No real surprise as the Griquas kicking machine bangs another one over.
18 Advantage to Griquas as the Cheetahs fail to roll away at the ruck, Lappies Labuschagne the offending player and Scheepers will go for posts.
17 Watts isn’t having the best of days thus far as he clears from the restart straight into touch after the Cheetahs had brought the ball back into their 22. Attacking line-out for Griquas.
16 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT 3-3. The winger makes no mistake.
15 The Cheetahs are strong on the attack, making good ground and they’re awarded a penalty at ruck time. with Riaan Smit set for a shot at goal from about 30 out.
13 It’s messy at the back of the scrum but Leon Karemaker is able to retain possession. PJ Vermeulen clears under pressure and the Cheetahs have a line-out on the Griquas 22.
11 Griquas make a mess of the line-out and the Cheetahs are awarded a penalty from off-side. They decide to take the tap and Nyakane is the first man to carry it up. Watts finds himself in some space but as he looks to get his hands free in the tackle he loses it forward.
9 Trevor Nyakane bursts through the first tackle and puts the Cheetahs on the front foot as they bash it up to Griquas’ 22. The ball is spread wide with some quick hands from Ebersohn and for a moment it looks like Daniller will get over in the corner but he’s tackled into touch.
8 The first scrum of the match is far from clean, with two resets required before referee Joubert decides to have word with the props on the near side. It does the trick with Griquas getting clean ball which they look to swing wide but run out of room. Cheetahs line-out on Griquas’ 22.
5 An error from Watts as he looses possession when there were men on the outside after the Cheetahs had made it into opposition territory.
4 PENALTY, GRIQUAS, SCHEEPERS 3-0. Nico Scheepers makes no mistake with the penalty attempt and Griquas are on the board.
4 An exchange of kicks first up before Griquas carry it up through 13 phases without making too much ground. Steph Roberts gets his hands on the ball and rumbles into the Cheetahs half as the visitors’ patience begins to pay off. They get their reward with a shot at goal after the Cheetahs to fail to roll away at the tackle.
1 Griquas get us underway!
0 Cheetahs boss Naka Drotske has made one change to his line-up following last week’s narrow defeat to Western Province, with Rossouw de Klerk for Caylib Oosthuizen at prop.
0 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Currie Cup clash between the Cheetahs and Griquas from Bloemfontein.