Cheetahs 54-39 Zebre: Cheetahs beat Italians in Bloemfontein try-fest
Last Updated: 16/09/17 9:36pm
Cheetahs registered their first Guinness PRO14 victory by beating Zebre 54-39 as 13 tries were scored in Bloemfontein.
After a George Biagi try had helped put the visitors 11-0 up, the home side established an eight-point lead, with Makazole Mapimpi, William Small-Smith and Luther Obi all going over.
Zebre's South African flanker Johan Meyer crossed just before the interval as the deficit came down to a point at 19-18 and David Canna subsequently passed up the chance to put Zebre back ahead as his penalty hit the post.
Mapimpi then scored a brilliant try early in the second half, and Cheetahs were never less than eight points ahead thereafter.
The two sides exchanged touchdowns as Torsten van Jaarsveld crossed for the hosts, followed by a Mattia Bellini reply, with Van Jaarsveld then going over again before Faialaga Afamasaga's response, which ensured the Italians would join their opponents in earning a try bonus point.
That took the score to 40-32, and the home advantage was subsequently boosted by Tian Meyer and Sergeal Petersen tries before Giulio Bisegni added Zebre's fifth at the end. Cheetahs' Ernst Stapelberg finished with seven conversions to his name.