CAPE TOWN – The Cheetahs delivered an inept defensive performance against Scarlets in a Pro14 rugby match in Llanelli, Wales, on Sunday going down 43-21 at Parc y Scarlets.
The home side scored four tries in the first half to lay the foundation for the victory. Some sloppy defending by the Cheetahs made things easier for Scarlets.
Eighthman Uzair Cassiem opened the scoring against his former side with a brilliantly-worked try. Flyhalf Dan Jones converted (7-0).
Scarlets followed up with three more tries, all converted by the experienced international fullback Leigh Halfpenny. The tries were scored by rightwing Johnny McNichol, centre Kieron Fonotia and Josh MacLoed. This brought the score to 28-0 after just 20 minutes and also handed the home side a bonus point.
The Cheetahs struggled to get going but came back into the match when McNichol was sin-binned for a professional foul in the 22nd minute. Centre Benhard Janse van Rensburg opened the scoring for the visitors with a try, which was converted by flyhalf Tian Schoeman (28-7).
The Cheetahs started playing with much more belief and were rewarded with an outstanding try just before halftime, scored by leftwing Rabz Maxwane. Schoeman converted to bring the halftime score to 28-14.
The Welsh team started the second half in great fashion when prop Wyn Jones barged over and Halfpenny converted (35-14).
The Cheetahs were not to be outdone and hit back with their third try in the 51st minute.
Eighthman Gerhard Olivier scored and Schoeman converted (35-21). Halfpenny slotted a penalty in the 55th minute to increase the lead (38-21) before centre Paul Asquith went over for try number six for the home side (43-21). Halfpenny missed the conversion – his first miss for the afternoon.
Scarlets 43 (28): Tries: Uzair Cassiem, Johnny McNicoll, Kieron Fonotia, Josh MacLoed, Wyn Jones, Paul Asquith. Conversions: Dan Jones, Leigh Halfpenny (4). Penalty: Halfpenny.
Cheetahs 21 (14): Tries: Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Rabz Maxwane, Gerhard Olivier. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3).
African News Agency (ANA)