Leinster take mauling from Cheetahs
Cheetahs 38 Leinster 19
Leinster slipped to their first Guinness PRO14 defeat of the season in Bloemfontein despite a superb hat-trick of Barry Daly tries as Cheetahs secured a 38-19 victory.
The hosts were initially reliant on the kicking of Ernst Stapelberg, with his four penalties keeping Cheetahs ahead for much of the first half despite Daly crossing for a fifth-minute try in the left corner.
William Small-Smith scored Cheetahs’ first try of the night two minutes before the interval, and Stapelberg’s successful conversion gave them a 19-5 half-time lead.
The Irish side’s task was made even harder, when hooker James Tracy was shown a yellow card shortly after the break, and Cheetahs made their numerical advantage tell as Torsten van Jaarsveld bundled over from a maul.
The hosts’ forwards were proving too hot to handle as Ox Nche went over from a lineout, with Stapelberg adding the extras, although Daly scored his second of the night on the hour mark and Ross Byrne kicked the conversion.
Winger Daly completed his hat-trick after 74 minutes after getting in down the left flank, but Luther Obi ended any hopes of a comeback with a length of the field effort late on.
Ospreys crashed to a third consecutive Pro14 defeat as Benetton Rugby registered their second win in a week.
Francesco Minto’s second-minute try and three successful kicks by Ian McKinley gave the Italian side a seven-point interval lead.
They backed that with a huge defensive effort after the break as Ospreys failed to turn possession into points.
And after tackling all attackers, the Italians broke out to clinch the win with Martin Banks’ 78th-minute penalty.