Cape Town – A try in the 84th minute saw the Cheetahs claim bragging rights with a 24-17 win in the all South African PRO14 clash against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
In a low-scoring first half, it was the Cheetahs who struck early through the leading try-scorer in the PRO14, winger Rabs Maxwane. Tian Schoeman added the conversion for a 0-7 lead after just 8 minutes.
And that’s the way it stayed until half-time with neither side able to further trouble the scoreboard.
The Kings were quickest out the blocks in the second half, with Ntabeni Dukisa crossing the whitewash and Masixole Banda adding the extras to tie the match up at 7-7 after 43 minutes.
The Cheetahs struck back almost immediately thanks to a try from flanker Junior Pokomela which Schoeman converted for a 7-14 lead.
Banda brought the Kings to within four points as his penalty in the 48th minute made the score 10-14.
Replacement Barend Janse van Rensburg pushed the lead back out to seven points in the 64th minute when he slotted a penalty for the Cheetahs to lead by 10-17.
But the Kings were not done and levelled up proceedings in the 72nd minute thanks to a penalty try after the Cheetahs were pinged for bringing down a driving maul close to their line.
With the sides locked at 17-17 the final 8 minutes promised much. And it delivered as both sides went hammer and tong for the winning score.
The Cheetahs were the team to win it at the death with Luan de Bruin crashing over for a converted try to break the Kings hearts.
Tries: Ntabeni Dukisa, Penalty Try
Conversions: Masixole Banda
Penalties: Masixole Banda
Tries: Rabs Maxwane, Junior Pokomela, Luan de Bruin
Conversions: Tian Schoeman (2), Barend Janse van Rensburg
Penalties: Barend Janse van Rensburg
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Ntabeni Dukisa 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Henry Brown, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 John-Charles Astle (captain), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Lumpumlo Mguca, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries van Schalkwyk, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Martin du Toit, 23 Harlon Klaasen
15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabs Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Danie Maartens, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Marnus van der Merwe/Reinach Venter, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Walt Steenkamp, 21 Abongile Nonkontwana, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Louis Fouche