Cheetahs catch fire late to streak into Currie Cup final

Ox Nche of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs during the Currie Cup semi final match between Toyota Free State XV and Cell C Sharks XV at Toyota Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

The Sharks simply had no answer to their fast-finishing opponents on a thrilling evening in Bloemfontein.

The Free State Cheetahs produced a sizzling second half display on Saturday, galloping to an impressive 51-30 victory over the Sharks in Bloemfontein to secure a home Currie Cup final.

Franco Smith’s troops scored a massive 40 points in the final 40 minutes, showcasing superior fitness and immense self-belief to subdue opponents who admittedly never were quite on the front foot anyway.

Spurred on by a fine individual performance from flyhalf Curwin Bosch, the Durbanites managed to hold off the hosts’ challenge initially by playing effective counter-attacking rugby.

Yet an injury to influential fullback Aphelele Fassi seemed to throw the Sharks off their stride as their defence collapsed in the face of some sumptuous attacking play from the Cheetahs.

Fittingly, the final try came via replacement flanker Jasper Wiese, who tragically lost his sister in a bus accident in Cape Town earlier this week.

Point scorers:

Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Junior Pokomela, William Small-Smith, Ruan Pienaar, Joseph Dweba, Ox Nche, Jasper Wiese. Conversions: Pienaar (5). Penalties: Tian Schoeman (2).

Sharks – Tries: Curwin Bosch (2), Sanele Nohamba, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Bosch (2). Penalties: Bosch (2)

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