Cheetahs u/21 “Scrape” Home Against “Talented” Lions

Photo Credit: Gallo Images

The u/21 Cheetahs started their campaign with a win of 31-30 against the Lions. Both teams struggled during the match to put a few phases together. A stop-start affair with very few periods of play which could form part of a highlights reel, unless you are a big fan of rolling mauls as the way to score tries.

The Cheetahs u/21 started like a house on fire dominating ball and territory for the first 7 minutes of the game before they forced their way over the Lions' scoreline to take an early lead with 7-0. The Lions replied almost immediately with a try of their own to level the score at 7-7. The rest of the first quarter was an even battle, with both sides who tried to give the ball a lot of air.

The Cheetahs scored their second try from a maul which gave them back the lead with 12-10. The Lions ended the half with a lead of 17-12 with both teams still struggling for dominance in a very close and even match.

The Lions took every scoring opportunity that presented itself and converted 3 penalties to lead 23-12 with 25 minutes to go. The Cheetahs scored yet another try mainly due to the mauling efforts of their forwards to narrow the gap to 19-23. With 20 minutes to go the game is still up for grabs.

The Lions struck back almost immediately to score and regain the lead with 30-19. The rugby in the last 20 minutes opened up quite a bit with the Cheetahs who scored two tries to the one of the Lions. With five minutes to go and the Lions in the lead with 30-24, it was again anybody's game.

The Cheetahs camped on the Lions try line for a good five minutes before they scored the winning try from a maul with 86 minutes on the clock. A "surprising" win for the Cheetahs with 5 tries to 3 against a star-studded Lions u/21.

The Lions the "better" team with the Cheetahs "lucky" to win, or was it the Lions "unlucky" to lose with the Cheetahs the "better" team. In the end, it does not matter as the Cheetahs "scraped" home with 31-30.

Cheetahs: Try: Gideon van Wyk (2), Janus Venter, Cornel Korff, Shayne Bolton. Conversions: Charles Williams (2), Franco Smith.
Xerox Lions: Try: James Mollentze, Mark Snyman, Ebot Buma. Conversions: Marc Morisson (3). Penalty: Marc Morisson (3).

Xerox Lions U21: 1. Nkosikhona Masuku, 2. Morne Brandon, 3. Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 4. Emmanuel Tshituka, 5. Cal Smid, 6. Mark Snyman, 7. Sibusiso Sangweni, 8. Travis Gordon (c), 9. Runaldo Pedro, 10. Marc Morisson, 11. Ngia Selengbe, 12. Luke Rossouw, 13. James Mollentze, 14. Prince Nkabinde, 15. Quan Horn. Replacements: 16. Darnell Osowagu, 17. Ebot Buma, 18. Herman Agenbag, 19. Mandisi Mthiyane, 20. Lindokuhle Ncusane, 21. Jurich Claasens, 22. Jordan Hendrikse, 23. Boitumelo Tsatsane, 24. Banele Mthenjane, 25. Junior White, 26. . 

Cheetahs: 15. Shayne Bolton, 14. Siyanda Cele, 13. Franco Smith, 12. Lesley Botha, 11. Janco van Heyningen, 10. Charles Williams, 9. Cornel Korff, 8. Gideon van Wyk, 7. Ruwald van der Merwe, 6. Gustav Meyer, 5. Ruben Cronje, 4. Pierre Uys, 3. Gerrit Visser, 2. Janus Venter, 1. Johan Schutte. Replacements: 16. William Moffat, 17. Wihan Marais, 18. JW Meads, 19. Lohan Potgieter, 20. Thapelo Ramoshaba, 21. Aya Matroos, 22. Jandre Nel, 23. Jaundre Sabbat.