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Cheetahs back at the top of Currie Cup standings after bonus-point win over Griffons

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 16: Siya Masuku of the Cheetahs. Picture: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images via BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 16: Siya Masuku of the Cheetahs. Picture: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images via BackpagePix

Published Apr 29, 2023


Cape Town - It had all the drama of a mystery novel initially, but the Cheetahs waded through the dark forest of lightning and heavy rain to dispatch the Griffons 33-10 late on Friday night.

The bonus-point victory saw the Free State side celebrate Oupa Mohoje's 100th match in style as they moved back to the top of the Currie Cup log.

Coach Hawies Fourie's team are now on 31 points after eight matches, two ahead of the Pumas, who went down 26-10 to the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday evening.

But before the action even started at the Free State Stsdium, the game was delayed by about 10 minutes from the scheduled 7.05pm start due to inclement weather.

And less than a minute after the players kicked off, referee Stephan Geldenhuys had to stop proceedings as some of the floodlights went off.

The players stayed on the pitch for a while and tried to keep warm, but soon enough, more lights went out and lightning could be seen in the distance, and everybody went back into the change-room.

It seemed like the match would be called off after a two-hour delay, but remarkably, the action resumed at 9.30pm.

By that time, broadcaster SuperSport had already decided to leave, so the match was not televised.

But that didn't stop the Cheetahs, who got the ball rolling with the opening try by flank Daniel Maartens in the 25th minute, and flyhalf Siya Masuku's conversion made it 7-3 to the home side, following Robbie Petzer's earlier penalty for the Griffons.

Soon it was 14-3 to the Cheetahs as Tapiwa Mafura dotted down, and the fullback grabbed a second just before halftime to set up a 21-3 advantage at the break.

The Griffons conceded the fourth bonus-point try in the 54th minute as Cheetahs No 6 flank Maartens crossed the whitewash for a second time.

But in typical fashion, the men from Welkom - famously known as the 'Purple People Eaters' - got a five-pointer of their own as fullback Duren Hoffman scored, which was converted by scrumhalf Jaywinn Juries.

That was as good as it got for the men from Welkom, though, as Cheetahs replacement back Evardi Boshoff claimed the fifth try towards the end.


Cheetahs 33 - Tries: Daniel Maartens (2), Tapiwa Mafura (2), Evardi Boshoff. Conversions: Siya Masuku (4).

Griffons 10 - Try: Duren Hoffman. Conversion: Jaywinn Juries (1). Penalty: Robbie Petzer (1).