Ruan Pienaar scored 21 points for the Free State Cheetahs yesterday as they downed Western Province 38-21 in the Currie Cup in Bloemfontein.
The 37-year-old Cheetahs scrumhalf and captain scored a try, converted two and kicked four penalties as the Cheetahs ran in four tries to the three of Western Province.
It was a disappointing outing for the Capetonians, who got their points via a Evan Roos double, a late Thomas Bursey try and the boot of Tim Swiel.
Province struggled to get out of the blocks, as the Cheetahs enjoyed a 11-0 advantage at the break.
WP coach John Dobson was still getting comfortable in his seat when his team conceded their first try, with Cheetahs wing Duncan Saal being put into space by flank Jeandre Rudolph in the first minute (7-0).
Despite WP then camping on the Cheetahs tryline, they couldn’t find any points, as two penalties at the end of the half gave the Cheetahs a decent buffer.
Province needed to strike early in the second half and they managed to draw first blood when Roos ran off the shoulder of Marcel Theunissen, who gave a good offload (11-7).
The Cheetahs hit back immediately through centre David Brits, who collected a cross kick from flyhalf Brandon Thompson (18-7).
The floodgates had opened and the Cheetahs had another one through Pienaar after a good counterattack from fullback and Man of the Match Clayton Blommetjies (25-7).
With 26 minutes to play, Roos barged through the Cheetahs defence from close quarters to make it 25-14, before another Pienaar penalty.
WP fought hard for a late comeback and thought they had given themselves some hope after Andre-Hugo Venter dotted down with 11 minutes to go, but replays showed he knocked on the ball to sum up the evening for Province.
Pienaar slotted another penalty, before Cohen Jasper chased down a kick to added another five-pointer. Bursey then scored a late consolation try for WP.
Cheetahs – Tries: Duncan Saal, David Brits, Ruan Pienaar and Cohen Jasper; Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (2) and Reinhardt Fortuin; Penalties: Pienaar (4).
WP – Tries: Evan Roos (2) and Thomas Bursey; Conversions: Tim Swiel (2) and Sacha Mngomezulu.