Cheetahs end Blues' Super playoff chances

MARK GLEESON
Last updated 05:02 07/07/2013
Peter Saili
Getty Images
PUSH-OFF: Blues No 8 Peter Saili tries to fend off the Cheetahs' Philip van der Walt during their Super Rugby match in Bloemfontein.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Stephen Donald starts with Aaron Cruden benched for Chiefs clash with Crusaders Blues lose promising winger Tevita Li to Highlanders for 2017 Super Rugby season Highlanders set to resume Super Rugby defence in South Africa The case of former All Blacks wing Zac Guildford is a complicated one From near-retirement, to a Chiefs century for determined hooker Hika Elliot Delicate Super Rugby balancing act for Blackadder in Fiji New All Black Seta Tamanivalu primed for Chiefs return in home land of Fiji Daryl Gibson wants Taqele Naiyaravoro to push for Wallabies starting spot Zac Guildford leaves the NSW Waratahs for 'wellbeing reasons' Chiefs coach Dave Rennie won't start all his All Blacks against Crusaders in Fiji

South Africa's Cheetahs secured a first Super Rugby playoff berth by beating the Blues 34-13 at the Free State Stadium today.

The Cheetahs moved into unassailable second place in the South African conference and will play in the quarter-finals in a fortnight.

Their win pushed their points tally to 50 but they are guaranteed four more as they have a bye next weekend in the final round of the regular competition, meaning they cannot be caught by the Sharks or Stormers, who both had outside hopes of play-off progress.

The Blues are also out of the chase after a match in which they scored an early try but then spent most of the game on the back foot as they consistently lost the forward battles.

Cheetahs fly-half Riaan Smit laid the basis for his side's success with a 100 percent return from his kicks, scoring a total of 19 points.

The others came from tries scored by Phillip van der Walt midway through the first half and the substitute pair of Sarel Pretorius and Boom Prinsloo in a furious final 10 minutes for the home team.

A try after just five minutes by 21-year-old scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, in the team in place of the injured Piri Weepu, gave the Blues a bright start but it proved one of few highlights for the New Zealanders on a cold afternoon in Bloemfontein.

Van der Walt put the Cheetahs ahead with a 22nd-minute try as he broke from the scrum, spun out of three tackles and stretched over the line to settle home hopes. Smit's accuracy stretched the lead to 19-10 at half-time.

The two sides then traded penalties in the second half before the Cheetahs scored two more tries.

Pretorius darted through a gap after picking up a loose ball that squeezed out of a maul to score in the 73rd minute and Prinsloo was shoved over the line by his team mates in a final display of the Cheetahs' dominance just before the end.

Cheetahs 34 (Sarel Pretorius, Boom Prinsloo, Philip van der Walt tries Riaan Smit 2 cons 5 pens) Blues 13 (Jamison Gibson-Park try Baden Kerr con 2 pens) at Vodacom Park. Referee: Jaco Peyper

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content