Cheetahs march on to Currie Cup final with big win over Bulls

Cheetahs march on to Currie Cup final with big win over Bulls

The Cheetahs will vie for a seventh Currie Cup crown in next weekend's final after comfortably beating the Bulls 39-10 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Currie Cup semi-final clash was an instant replay of last weekend's match between the two teams which the Cheetahs narrowly won at Loftus, and as expected, they proved to be an even tougher test on home soil.

Ruan Pienaar's trusty boot did most of the damage for the hosts, contributing 22 point via two conversions and six penalties, along with tries from Reinhardt Fortuin, Tapiwa Mafura and Evardi Boshoff.

The Cheetahs made a major statement just two minutes into the match when a good kick placed Bulls fullback Johan Goosen under some early pressure, allowing Reinhardt Fortuin to charge down his attempted clearance and regather the ball for a great try, duly converted by the Cheetahs' veteran Bok flyhalf Ruan Pienaar.

The Bulls were given a boost not long after when Cheetahs prop Conraad van Vuuren was yellow-carded for cynical play, and after initially making a hash of the tap-and-go, they were able to get on the board via a Goosen penalty.

But the home side were soon back in the ascendancy and applying pressure in the Bulls half, coming away with two penalty kicks for their troubles to extend their lead to 13-3.

With five minutes to go, that lead was stretched even further when fullback Tapiwa Mafura weaved his way through the Bulls defence for their second try of the afternoon, as the Cheetahs took a formidable 20-3 lead into half-time.

The Bulls had a chance to score first after the break but couldn't make it stick and instead, it was Pienaar who quietly extended the Cheetahs' lead to 20 points via the penalty spot not long after.

The Bulls were given a lifeline in the 50th minute when Johan Grobelaar crashed over following a rolling maul, but a few minutes later their ill discipline cost them again, allowing Pienaar's boot to do some more damage as the game headed into the final quarter.

The final nail in the Bulls' coffin probably came in the 64th minute when a try from replacement WJ Steenkamp was disallowed for a forward pass. Instead, it was Pienaar who added insult to injury with two more penalty kicks in quick succession to leave the result beyond any question.

To make matters worse, the Bulls were forced to see out the match with 14 men after Jan-Hendrik Wessels was sent off for a tip tackle, allowing the Cheetahs to score a third try via replacement Evardi Boshoff deep in injury time.