Currie Cup

Drama in Bloem as WP edge closer to Newlands SF, Cheetahs drop out of Currie Cup

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Damian Willemse (left) and Rosko Specman (Gallo)
Damian Willemse (left) and Rosko Specman (Gallo)

Western Province took a significant step towards a home Currie Cup semi-final with a 31-29 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. 

AS IT HAPPENED | Cheetahs 29-31 WP

The win took the Capetonians back up to second on the log - level on points with the Bulls - with just one fixture remaining for them in the round robin stage stages of the competition. 

If WP beat the Sharks at Newlands next weekend, they will ensure that they are back at their home ground for a semi-final. 

The Cheetahs, meanwhile, have now been knocked out of the competition in the most heartbreaking fashion. 

The hosts had overturned a 23-9 deficit to go 26-23 up, and they held a 29-28 lead when WP were awarded a penalty with what would be the last kick of the game. 

WP flyhalf Tim Swiel was the hero, knocking over a difficult goal for an individual haul of 21 points on the night and, more importantly, a crucial last-gasp win for his side. 

Frans Steyn was superb for the Cheetahs once more, kicking 19 points on the day and a couple of long-distance goals.

The scoring in the early part of the game was a tale of the two kickers as Swiel and Steyn found their range from the kicking tee.

Swiel struck four penalties while Steyn converted three of his own as WP took a 12-9 lead on the scoreboard after 38 minutes.

It was the visitors who got the first try of the game as flanker Jaco Coetzee crashed over in injury time in the first half with Province taking a 17-9 lead into the halftime break.

Swiel added two further penalties early in the second half as the WP looked in control of proceedings with a commanding 23-9 lead after 54 minutes.

The Cheetahs, however, launched a superb comeback as they scored two tries within five minutes of each other.

First, hooker Wilmar Arnoldi scored after a powerful driving maul before wing Rosko Specman went in under the posts almost immediately from the restart.

Steyn converted both tries and then added another penalty as the Cheetahs took a 26-23 lead going into the last 15 minutes of the encounter.

Province then regained the lead in the 68th minute as they had a powerful driving maul of their own before Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi went over for a five-pointer.

Swiel's conversion attempt went wide and it looked as though that miss would be costly as Steyn struck another penalty to give the Cheetahs a 29-28 advantage with four minutes remaining.

Province though had the final say as their scrum, which had been dominant for the whole game, won a penalty and Swiel stepped up to be the hero for his team with the last kick on the hooter.

Scorers:

Cheetahs 29 (9)

Tries: Wilmar Arnoldi, Rosko Specman

Conversions: Frans Steyn (2)

Penalties: Steyn (4)

WP 31 (17)

Tries: Jaco Coetzee, Bongi Mbonambi

Penalties: Tim Swiel (7)

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