PRO14

Cheetahs blown away by fast Scarlets start

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JP du Preez of the Cheetahs is tackled by Uzair Cassiem  of the Scarlets (Getty Images
JP du Preez of the Cheetahs is tackled by Uzair Cassiem of the Scarlets (Getty Images

Cape Town - A strong start enabled Welsh side Scarlets to beat the Cheetahs 43-21 in their PRO14 encounter in Llanelli on Sunday.

According to the PRO14's official website, the hosts ran in four tries in the first 20 minutes of the match as they took control early in the Round 16 encounter at Parc Y Scarlets.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny had 11 points off the kicking tee, with five successful attempts from six, as he made his first appearance in more than three months following a spell out with concussion.

Uzair Cassiem gave the hosts a perfect start inside three minutes as he scored against his former side.

The Scarlets No 8 produced a pick-up off his toes to make the most of Werner Kruger’s offload from the floor to run in under the posts.

Johnny McNicholl grabbed the second for Wayne Pivac’s men as he made the most when the ball went wide to the right wing.

It was a third try just minutes later as Dan Jones’ grubber kick, off the back of a solid scrum for the hosts, was gathered by Kieron Fonotia to dive over under the posts.

Blindside flanker Josh Macleod secured the bonus point inside the opening quarter as he made the most of scrum-half Kieran Hardy’s searing break before the back-rower picked up metres short of the line to crash over.

The Cheetahs came into the game late in the opening period, but winger Rabs Maxwane knocked on as he attempted to dart for the line from five metres out.

Minutes later, centre Benhard Janse van Rensburg did get a first try for the visitors, as he ran a sharp line to break the defensive line and reach out to score.

Just before half-time there was a second with Maxwane touching down after an astonishing break down the left wing.

Junior Pokomela broke from inside his own half before his offload was kicked through by Abongile Nonkontwana with the outside of his heel to release the winger, who dabbed down for his 12th try in the competition.

The Scarlets added another just after half-time through Wyn Jones, the replacement post driving over from close quarters, making it 35-14.

But Gerhardus Olivier struck back for the Cheetahs, as Tian Schoeman’s break and offload released the No 8 to touch down.

Halfpenny added a penalty to extend the Scarlets advantage, before centre Paul Asquith made the most of an error in the Cheetahs back line.

McNicholl grabbed a wayward pass before off-loading to his team-mate who ran in from 15 metres out to make it 43-21.

Scorers:

Scarlets

Tries: Uzair Cassiem, Johnny McNicholl, Kieron Fonotia, Josh MacLeod, Wyn Jones, Paul Asquith

Conversions: Leigh Halfpenny (5)

Penalty: Halfpenny

Cheetahs

Tries: Rabs Maxwane, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Gerhard Olivier

Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3)

Teams:

Scarlets

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Ioan Nicholas, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Dan Davis, 6 Josh Macleod, Josh Helps, 4 Jake Ball (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones

Substitutes: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Steff Hughes

Cheetahs

15 Louis Fouche, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Rabs Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter (captain), 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Abongile Nonkontwana, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Rudy Paige, 23 Tian Meyer

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