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Chiefs fight back in thriller

The Cheetahs were pegged back by a second-half comeback by the Chiefs as the Super Rugby clash at Bloemfontein ended in a 43-43 draw.

The hosts, seeking a first victory over the Chiefs in this competition, appeared to be in control as four first-half tries gave them a 34-10 advantage at the break.

However, the Chiefs were strong in the second half and Tim Nanai-Williams' late try, converted by Aaron Cruden, earned them a draw.

It is the second week in a row the defending champions have drawn on their South African tour after a stalemate with the Bulls last weekend, also grabbed at the death.

Scrum-half Sarel Pretorius opened the scoring with a sixth-minute try, converted by fly-half Johan Goosen, before Cruden kicked a penalty.

Rayno Benjamin's went unconverted before Goosen converted his own try to give the hosts a 17-3 advantage. However, Augustine Pulu crossed for an effort which was converted by Cruden, to trim the deficit to seven points.

The Cheetahs took control for the remainder of the half however, with tries for Pretorius and flanker Boom Prinsloo both converted by Goosen, who also kicked a penalty.

However, the Chiefs were a different proposition after the interval. The revival started when Pulu's second try, converted by Cruden, reduced the deficit to 34-17.

A Goosen penalty made it 37-17, before the balance of momentum swung firmly in the visitors' favour around the hour mark.

After Nanai-Williams had crossed the whitewash, Asaeli Tikoirotuma did likewise for a try which was converted by Cruden - and when the fly-half added the extras to another Tikoiriotuma effort, the visitors were within a point of Cheetahs.

Two penalties by Goosen appeared to have settled home nerves but Nanai-Williams' try at the end was successfully added to by Cruden - his f ifth conversion of the contest earning the Chiefs a share of the spoils.


From Belfast Telegraph