Cheetahs blown away by Scarlets' first half blitz in Challenge Cup

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Ruan Pienaar. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)
Ruan Pienaar. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

The Cheetahs came crashing down to earth after an underwhelming 45-26 Challenge Cup defeat to Scarlets in Parma on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED | Cheetahs 26-45 Scarlets

The Welsh outfit stunned the Cheetahs with a first-half blitz as they ran in five tries in a 27-minute period to effectively seal the contest by half-time (38-7). 

The Cheetahs started brightly with a stunning try by winger Munier Hartzenberg but they were left stunned when Scarlets turned on the style. Their outside backs, in particular, proved a handful.

The Scarlets are a lowly 15th on the URC standings, with just one win from nine games, but they looked a different side in Saturday's Challenge Cup encounter.

The first quarter of the second half saw no points added but the Cheetahs fought back in the final 20 with three tries to seal a bonus-point as consolation.

Centre Reinhardt Fortuin, winger Daniel Kasende and flanker Friedle Olivier scored in quick succession but it was too little too late to haul in the Scarlets, who scored late on to bag their sixth try.

The Cheetahs will be disappointed with their performance, especially after their impressive 21-16 away win to French club Pau last week. The Free State side's first half display on Saturday was one of their worst in recent memory. 

The Cheetahs' next match in the Challenge Cup is a return fixture against Scarlets in Llanelli on 13 January. 

Scorers:

Cheetahs 26 (7)

Try: Munier Hartzenberg, Reinhardt Fortuin, Daniel Kasende, Friedle Olivier

Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (3)

Scarlets 45 (38)

Tries: Steff Evans (2), Ryan Conbeer, Johnny McNicholl, Sam Lousi, Ken Owens

Conversions: Sam Costelow (6)

Penalty: Costelow

REPORT | Six-try Exeter splatter inexperienced Bulls in Champions Cup rugby lesson


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