Round 14 - Cheetahs v Highlanders, 16 May, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
- May 17, 2015
It was another great first half of rugby from the Highlanders, after last week's shock second half defeat to the Lions the Highlanders came out fired up for their second game in South Africa. They started strong with debutant Ryan Tongia notching up an early try after being on the receiving end of a perfectly weighted chip kick from Lima Sopoaga. The Cheetahs replied with a penalty only for Tongia to bring up his second try after setting himself up with a great chip and chase try down the sideline. Aaron Smith brought up our third try on the 25th minute mark, showing great hands to catch an expert offload from Nasi Manu who made a storming run down the left wing. With just over 30 minutes gone, Patrick Osborne, brought up the bonus point try when he dived on a 20 metre grubber from Ben Smith, competing only with team mate, Malakai Fekitoa, for the bragging rights. After an exciting first half the Highlanders led the Cheetahs 26-3.
Keen to not have a repeat of the second half against the Lions, the Highlanders kept the pressure on in the second half with Aaron Smith resumimg the scoring on the 45 minute mark. Smith scored a pick-and-go try after the Highlanders launched a multiple phase attack on the Cheetahs try line. Gareth Evans soon went over for his third try in as many games after completing a try that began inside the Cheetahs 22m line with Malakai Fekitoa busting up the mid-field. The Cheetahs then struck back with three quickfire tries in the face of a tiring Highlanders defensive line. But it was Ben Smith who sealed the result with a nice chip and chase try. Lima Sopoaga played his part again this week setting up tries and slotting four out of six conversions while substitute first-five, Marty Banks, converted Ben Smith's try to round out the game with a 45-24 bonus point win over the Cheetahs. On to Perth and the Western Force before heading home to play the Chiefs in Invercargill.
HALFTIME: CHE: 3 - HIG 26
FULLTIME: CHE 24 - HIG 45
Tries - R.Benjamin,C Wegner, F.Venter,
Pen - F.Brummer
Con - F.Brummer (3)
Cards - R.Rhule (42nd min yellow)
Tries - R.Tongia (2), A.Smith (2), P.Osborne, G.Evans, B.Smith
Con - L.Sopoaga (4), M.Banks