Posted on Sunday, 01 Dec 2019
The Toyota Cheetahs survived a late onslaught by a determined Ospreys at The Gnoll in Neath to returned winning ways in the Guinness PRO14 with an 18-13 victory.
The win was a rare victory for the Toyota Cheetahs overseas, and just their second in Wales. It means that they remain in third in the standings on Conference A, and six points clear of the 4th placed Glasgow Warriors.
William Smal-Smith opened the scoring in Neath when he went over for an unconverted try in the 8th minute of the match.
Luke Price struck back for the Ospreys in the 12th minute with a penalty.
The Toyota Cheetahs captain, Ruan Pienaar, reclaimed the three points some five minutes later with a penalty of his own.
The tighthead prop, Ma’afu Fia, powered his team into the lead in the 23rd minute with a converted try which same the Ospreys go into the half time break with leading 10-8.
Pienaar and Price each missed a penalty in the second half before Wilmar Arnoldi reclaimed the lead for the Toyota Cheetahs when the hooker scored from a lineout drive in the 66th minute. This time Tin Schoeman made no mistake in converting the try.
Price made it a two-point game with another penalty before Schoeman slotted a three-pointer as well.
It was nearly déjà vu for the Toyota Cheetahs towards the backend of the game as the conceded numerous penalties and Sintu Manjezi was sin-binned, however, the Ospreys weren’t able to snatch a late win.
The Toyota Cheetahs did make it very difficult for themselves once again and various aspects of their game will need to be addressed. Firstly, ball protection on the ground was dreadful, Luan de Bruin had a tough game at tighthead prop and Rhyno Smith needs a little more patience with the ball in hand. The Toyota Cheetahs will nevertheless be thrilled with the win which is also the first under the guidance of Hawies Fourie.
The Toyota Cheetahs take a proper break now following 16 weeks of gruelling rugby before getting back together to travel north again, however, this time to Italy where they will face Zebre in Parma on 4 January.
Ospreys: Try - Ma’afu Fia Conv. – Luke Price Pen. – Price 2
Toyota Cheetahs: Tries – William Small-Smith, Wilmar Arnoldi Conv. – Tian Schoeman Pen. – Pienaar, Schoeman
@MorganPiek OFM Sport