JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Tian Schoeman and Rosko Specman scored all the points against former team the Bulls to give the Cheetahs a 19-17 win on Friday in a South African Super Rugby Unlocked second round match.
Fly-half Schoeman kicked four penalties from five attempts and converted a brilliantly executed first half try from winger Specman in central city Bloemfontein.
It was the second successive home victory for the Cheetahs and lifted them five points clear at the top of the standings in the seven-team competition.
Trailing by 13 points and reduced to 14 men by the yellow-carding of lock Ruan Nortje on 61 minutes, the Bulls scored 11 unanswered points to reduce the gap to just two points.
But as the Pretoria outfit pushed forward from their half to try and snatch a post-siren victory, they knocked on the ball and the final whistle sounded to end a lively match.
Hooker Joe van Zyl came off the bench to score a pushover try on debut, veteran fly-half Morne Steyn slotted three penalties and his replacement, Chris Smith, one.
Smith had a chance to equalise in the final minute of regular time but his conversion veered just left of the near post.
Cheetahs number eight Jasper Wiese was voted man of the match and more performances like the one against the Bulls are bound to catch the attention of Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber.
The Cheetahs’ success was all the sweeter as they had to play 65 minutes without talismanic captain and scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who injured his knee.