PRO14 Round 5: The South African Teams

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BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 29: Torsten van Jaarsveld of the Toyota Cheetahs during the Guinness Pro14 match between Toyota Cheetahs and Ospreys at Toyota Stadium on September 29, 2017 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

In PRO14 round 5, the South African teams produced a home win and an away loss.

The Cheetahs defeated the Ospreys 44 – 25 at home in Bloemfontein and the Southern Kings lost to the Dragons 29 – 13 in Newport.

PRO14 Round 5: The South African Teams

We take a brief look at each game.

Toyota Cheetahs 44 Ospreys 25

Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Torsten van Jaarsveld (2), Makazole Mapimpi (2), Johan Coetzee, Francois Venter Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg (3), William Small-Smith Penalties: Ernst Stapelberg (2)

Ospreys – Tries: Rhys Webb, Kieran Fonotia, Dan Evans Conversions: Dan Biggar (2) Penalties: Biggar (2)

The Cheetahs made it three out of three at home in Bloemfontein. They broke the mould of recent years in being an entertaining attacking side with a very poor defense. Their defense in this game had a lot more starch in it than they have shown in recent years. Overcoming their poor defensive record will always be the Cheetahs challenge.

The Cheetahs now move up to third in Conference A of the PRO14 with 15 points, trailing  leaders Glasgow Warriors on 23 points and second placed Munster who are on 19 points. They will keenly await the return of first and second choice fly-halves; Fred Zeilinga and Neil Marais, to help them to maintain their challenge.

The Cheetahs next host the conference leading Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein on Friday 6 October.

Dragons 29 Southern Kings 13

Newport Gwent Dragons – Tries: Hallam Amos(2), Elliot Dee(2) Conversions: Gavin Henson (3) Penalty: HensonSouthern Kings – Try : Andisa Ntsila Conversion: Pieter-Steyn de Wet Penalties: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (2)

In conditions that the Kings are totally alien to with driving rain, they ran the Dragons a lot closer than they were expected to. The Dragons were never in danger of losing this game, but they would have expected to win by an easier margin. The Kings will continue to play under the mantle of words such as “plucky”, “brave” or “resilient”.

This will not change until SARU hand over control of the franchise to the elected EXCO of the Eastern Province Rugby Union. A newly elected EXCO was one of the prerequisites set out by SARU. The EXCO cannot negotiate with prospective sponsors to bring the much needed financing to the franchise to contract quality players for the long term. They simply don’t have anything to offer potential sponsors as control is vested in SARU.

The Kings remain rooted at the bottom of Conference B of the PRO14, with the Dragons standing in 5th place. The Kings now face Benneton Treviso away and the Dragons face a local derby against the Cardiff Blues.

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