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Win secures Cheetahs play-off place

The Cheetahs secured a place in the Super Rugby play-offs for the first time in their history with a comfortable 34-13 win over the Blues in Bloemfontein.

Philip van der Walt, Sarel Pretorius and Boom Prinsloo all scored tries for the home side with Riaan Smit booting 19 points to end a seven-year wait for post-season rugby. Jamison Gibson-Park recorded an early score for the Blues and Baden Kerr kicked eight points but it was never going to be enough to stop them falling out of play-off contention this season.

Meanwhile, the Highlanders won their all-New Zealand clash against the Hurricanes 49-44 at the Westpac Trust Stadium to secure only their third win of the current Super Rugby season.

The Highlanders ran in six tries, with Mose Tuiali'i, Tamati Ellison, Aaron Smith, Kade Poki, Hosea Gear and Elliot Dixon crossing over. Highlanders fly-half Colin Slade kicked three penalties and three conversions for a 15-point match haul, while Hayden Parker also slotted two conversions.

The Hurricanes scored five tries, with Ash Dixon, Ben Franks, Julian Savea, Chris Smylie and James Broadhurst touching down. In-form fly-half Beauden Barrett kicked 19 points but it proved in vain for the hosts.

Captain Deon Fourie shook off the disappointment of the Stormers' Super 15 play-off hopes coming to an end as he crossed twice to seal a 24-12 victory against the last-placed Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The Stormers' hopes of competing in the post-season were ended with the Cheetahs' 34-13 win over the Blues just before kick-off.

With nothing to play for they soon fell 6-0 behind to the boot of Demetri Catrakilis but Fourie's first try, a memorable individual run off the back of a forward drive, sent the visitors 11-9 ahead at the break. It was a lead they never gave up although it took Fourie's second try three minutes from the end to ensure the result.

Sharks full-back Riaan Viljoen missed a last-gasp penalty to hand the Bulls a precious 20-19 win that edges them closer towards home advantage in the Super 15 play-offs.

Viljoen who pulled his effort from 30 metres to the delight of the home fans at Loftus Versfeld. This loss was tough on the Sharks who had led their South African rivals 19-13 with seven minutes to go until replacement Jano Vermaak's score was converted by Morne Steyn.


From Belfast Telegraph