After trailing by a single point at halftime, the Free State Cheetahs U21 side hit back with three second half tries to defeat the EP Kings 33-15 in their Absa U21 provincial championship rugby match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday (September 11).
The Kings produced an encouraging first half to lead 15-14 at the break but several defensive lapses proved costly in the second half. They also came up against a solid Cheetahs defence, who were able to handle everything the Kings threw at them as the home side strove to increase their score.
Centre Somila Jho was again in a try-scoring mood, crossing for both the Kings’ tries, with flyhalf MC Venter adding a penalty and a conversion.
Jho’s first try came from some clever play by Kings fullback Malcolm Jaer, who hoisted a kick close to the Cheetahs tryline, which was rewarded as the ball was knocked back into the visitors’ in-goal area, with Jho first to the ball.
The second came from a thrilling bit of play from inside their own 22-metre area. A turnover with the Cheetahs on the attack saw EP spread the ball wide, with Jho taking the final pass and running 50 metres to dot down in the lefthand corner.
The Cheetahs replied with two tries by No 8 Steven Meiring, both converted by wing Arrie Vosloo. They then piled on the pressure on the second half with tries by flank Jean-Claude Fourie, centre Stephen Janse van Rensburg and Vosloo.
The point-scorers were:
- EP Kings 15: tries by Somila Jho 2; a penalty and a conversion by MC Venter.
- Cheetahs 33: tries by Steven Meiring 2, Jean-Claude Fourie, Stephen Janse van Rensburg, Arrie Vosloo; four conversions by Vosloo.
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