12 Apr 2009

Cheetahs stun the Sharks in Bloemfontein

5:55 am on 12 April 2009

The Cheetahs produced a huge upset beating the table-topping Sharks 31-6 in an all-South African Super 14 match in Bloemfontein.

The Cheetahs, who had lost their first seven matches, put on one of their finest performances with four unanswered tries for their first win in this season's competition.

The Sharks, who despite the loss remain top of the table with 30 points from nine matches, made too many handling errors, conceded too many penalties and missed too many tackles against a team rooted to the bottom.

The visitors' only points came from the boot of scrumhalf Rory Kockott, who kicked them into a 17th-minute lead with the first of his two successful penalties.

The Cheetahs, whose defensive effort and ability to strike off turnover ball proved decisive, went in front seven minutes later when Springbok winger Jongi Nokwe rounded off a good break by flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter. The Sharks, 10-3 down at halftime, briefly threatened a comeback in the second half but were soon blown away by three excellent tries, including a second to Nokwe, who finished off a counter-attack that began in the Cheetahs' half.

The Sharks resorted to a high-risk game in a vain attempt to come back into the match but succumbed to further tries by Bjorn Basson and Kabamba Floors, who ran through poor Sharks tackling in the 70th minute to register the bonus point.