Tahs destroy Cheetahs

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 06: Tienie Badenhorst of the Cheetahs during the Super Rugby match between Toyota Cheetahs and Waratahs at Free State Stadium on June 06, 2015 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

New Cheetahs coach Franco Smith started his tenure in Bloemfontein in the worst possible fashion as the Waratahs ran them ragged to score a bonuspoint Super Rugby win of 58-33 in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

A total of 14 tries, a staggering nine by the visitors, were scored – with ace Tahs fullback Israel Folau helping himself to a hat-trick – while the Cheetahs to their credit replied with five of their own.

After already scoring their bonuspoint try before the halftime break and leading 29-21 the Tahs scored their sixth try just two minutes after the interval by centre Adam Ashleigh-Cooper for a commanding 34-21 lead, but flyhalf Bernard Foley missed four of his 10 kicks at goal which could have seen the Tahs’ tally much bigger.

The next score belonged to the Cheetahs with wing Cornal Hendricks brilliantly completing his brace and his team’s own bonuspoint and with flyhalf Niel Marais, who took over the kicking from an injured Coenie van Wyk, converting they reduced matters to 34-28.

The Tahs then simply with the biggest of ease just scored their seventh in the 65th minute through Folau and with Foley converting and adding a penalty they opened up a 44-28 gap, but in the process a yellow card was shown to Cheetahs centre Rayno Benjamin for trying to trip a visibly upset Folau .

In the 72nd minute Foley himself scored the eighth and converting himself to make it 5/9 from the kicking tee to push the tally up to 51-28.

For good measure leftwing Matt Carraro finished his brace with their ninth score in the 75th minute for a crushing 58-28 lead.

The last score however belonged to the homeside when centre Francois Venter went over on the stroke of full-time to complete his brace to regain some pride to the big scoresheet.

The game started at a frenetic pace with a total of six tries being scored in the opening 30 minutes as the heavens opened up and raining tries with three going each way, with the Cheetahs’ defence looking vulnerable whenever the Tahs created space out wide.

Folau opened the scoring in the fourth minute already for a 5-0 lead and barely four minutes later flank Michael Hooper joined him on the scoresheet for a 12-0 lead after Foley missed the first conversion but was on song with the second.

The Cheetahs however wasn’t going to be undone and in the 11th minute Venter scored their opener to trail 12-7 and then Hendricks scores a great interception try in the 14th minute to surprisingly take the lead at 14-12.

The Tahs however regained the lead after Carraro scored their third try in the 19th minute after a basic backline move to regain the lead at 17-14, only for the Cheetahs to hit back once again with their third try in the 28th minute after a great rolling maul which saw flank Boom Prinsloo scoring his eighth try of the season and at 21-17 the Cheetahs recaptured the scoreboard advantage.

In the last 10 minutes before the break however the Tahs raised their gears with Folau scoring their bonuspoint try and his second in the 38th minute for a 22-21 lead and barely two minutes later on the stroke of halftime big winger Naqele Naiyaravoro crashed over for the fifth to send the Tahs into a 29-21 halftime lead.


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