Pienaar strike rescues draw for Cheetahs

The two sides cold not be separated in Bloemfontein in a thrilling clash.

Ruan Pienaar struck an overtime penalty to salvage a draw for the Cheetahs against Griquas in a titanic Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Pienaar, playing at flyhalf, and George Whitehead exchanged late second-half penalties as the Cheetahs and Griquas could not be separated at the end of a 29-29 draw.

An enthralling first half saw the Cheetahs score first when flanker Sibabalo Qoma crashed over, before Griquas took the lead through flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela’s work off the tee and hooker Janco Uys’ try.

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The Cheetahs came within a point of the visitors when winger Cohen Jasper dotted down, but Griquas’ response was swift as hard-working lock Dylan Sjoblom crossed the whitewash. Hooker Marnus van der Merwe’s late score brought the Cheetahs to within five as they trailed Griquas 23-19 heading into the break.

Flanker Gideon van der Merwe’s try put the Cheetahs back in front, but their reign was short-lived as a Dobela penalty drew Griquas level before the end of the third quarter.

A late penalty struck by Whitehead, playing at fullback, snatched a lead that Griquas valiantly defended, but Pienaar stepped-up to slot a the final penalty to lock the match up.

This story was first published sarugbymag.co.za. It is republished here with permission.

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