Cheetahs stun Super 14 leaders Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cheetahs stun Super 14 leaders Sharks

12/04/2009 12:25:38 PM Comments (0)

The bottom-placed Cheetahs pulled off the stunner of the Super 14 rugby season when they thrashed the competition-leading Sharks 31-6 in their all-South Africa clash.

Given no chance even at home in Bloemfontein after seven consecutive losses to start the season, the Cheetahs led 10-3 at half-time before dominating the second half at Vodacom Park.

The sole consolation for the sluggish Sharks was that they stayed top of the table on 30 points, three points above the Chiefs, the Bulls and NSW Waratahs all on 27.

And even a bonus-point victory for scoring four tries did not lift the Cheetahs off the bottom as they are six points adrift of the Queensland Reds.

"Rather late than never," said Cheetahs captain Juan Smith, who returned to the team last week after being injured on a disastrous Australasia tour.

"The Cheetahs owed it to the supporters who came here over Easter weekend to back us despite so many losses. It is a better team that our record suggests and now that we have set a standard, it must be maintained."

Sharks lock and captain Johann Muller also praised the Cheetahs.

"They were the better team in attack and defence and fully deserved to win. This result proves that being leaders means nothing. You have to do it on the field," he said.

Wings Jongi Nokwe (two) and Bjorn Basson scored three of the Cheetahs tries with the other coming from replacement loose forward Kabamba Floors. Five eighth Jacques-Louis Potgieter converted three and centre Meyer Bosman the other.

Potgieter, atoning for a modest showing against the Brumbies last weekend, also kicked a penalty to finish with a 100 per cent record from shots at goal.

Sharks scrum-half Rory Kockott remained leading Super 14 scorer this season with 92 points after landing a penalty in each half while another attempt came back off a post.

Kockott opened the scoring on 17 minutes and Nokwe crossed the line soon after when a tap penalty set Potgieter up for a run and scoring pass to the Springbok wing.

Potgieter and Kockott succeeded with penalty kicks either side of half-time to leave the Cheetahs 10-6 ahead 15 minutes into the second half when the floodgates opened.

Nokwe crossed again despite a valiant effort by number eight Ryan Kankowski to catch him, Basson punished a poor tackle from Chris Jordaan to go over in the other corner and Floors waltzed over to complete the rout.

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