Cheetahs draw with Sharks to qualify for semifinals

Bloemfontein- There were heartbreak for the Sharks as they played out to a 34-34 draw with the Free State Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium which meant that the Cheetahs edged the Sharks in qualifying  for the semifinals in the Currie Cup of 2015. Reports Piet Lategan.

The Cheetahs led 17-13 at the break courtesy of tries by inside centre, Rayno Benjamin and openside flanker, Johannes Prinsloo while flyhalf, Niell Marais slotted two conversions and a penalty with the Sharks replying through tries by blindside flanker, Etienne Oosthuizen and scrumhalf, Cobus Reinach while flyhalf, Joe Pietersen kicked a penalty.

At the start of the second stanza, outside centre of the Sharks, Paul Jordaan crossed the chalk for the banana boys while Marais and Pietersen traded penalties with the Sharks now enjoying a  one-point advantage. Pietersen added two more penalties as fullback, Garth April wrapped up the bonus point for the Sharks after 60 minutes with Pietersen adding the extras. With the Sharks enjoying a 14-point buffer with eight minutes to go the Cheetahs came back at them with one final onslaught. Benjamin completed his brace in scoring a breakaway try while replacement flanker, Gerhard Olivier broke hearts in Durban when he scored at the back of a maul from a lineout with Marais adding the conversion to force a draw in sealing the fate of the Sharks.

The Cheetahs will now take on the Golden Lions in Johannesburg next weekend in one of the semifinals.

Pic: SARugby