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Cheetahs v Stormers - Live
80 Full-time in Bloemfontein and it's the Cheetahs 6-13 Stormers. Not the best game but it's the result that counts for the Capetonians. Next up, the Lions v Rebels.
79 The visitors still have possession but not for long as they clear to the touchline. So, one last chance for the Cheetahs. They are about 20 metres from the try-line as coach Coetzee looks on nervously. Victory here would give them the SA conference title.
76 The Stormers look to have weathered that barrage of pressure on their line as they now have possession on halfway and don't seem like doing anything stupid.
73 Sias Ebersohn misses a relatively straightforward penalty shot.
72 The Cheetahs still have it then in the visitors 22 with time ticking on. Now replacement Tewis de Bruyn looks to dab one over the top into the in-goal area but it runs dead. However, the Cheetahs do have some consolation as the SA leaders are penalised.
69 Still the Cheetahs bang on the door but to little joy as their attempted cross-field doesn't pay dividends like it did for Aplon and the Stormers in the 54th minute.
66 Finally referee Jonker has a solid enough set-piece to look at in front of him and the Stormers subsequently clear their lines via an under pressure Pietersen. The home side are not done yet though and will look to once again set up camp in the red zone.
65 Stormers to put in then now as they embark on looking to clear their lines. Boy it is taking some time for them to get this scrum sorted and packed down.
63 And that line-out leads to a rolling maul, but unfortunately for them a knock-on comes at the tail! How painful must that be for watching head coach Drotske.
62 A penalty has gone against Kitshoff now due to him losing his bind so here is a chance for some territory for the Cheetahs. Strauss throws on the away 22.
60 An hour gone in Bloem and the Stormers are seven points to the good, which in these conditions is more like 12 to 14. Can the Cheetahs claw their way back?
58 Back come the Cheetahs immediately though as Brussow does his usual busy work at the breakdown. Johnson is also involved but what a response that is from the away side as their determination in defence sees them rewarded for a Cheetah holding on.
55 GRANT CONVERSION! 6-13! He can!
54 APLON TRY! 6-11! What a way to right that aforementioned wrong. Aplon is on hand to gather Grant's clever cross-field kick and the Stormers are over for the first try of the game. Now, can the in-form Grant make it the full seven points from wide out?
53 SMIT PENALTY! 6-6! The Cheetahs are level after Gio Aplon was penalised for not rolling away. We are tied once again then at Free State Stadium.
50 Unforgivable stuff from replacement Philip Snyman as he is in front of Smit when he put up a testing kick on the Stormers' 22. As we look around the stadium, we see lots of empty seats and plenty of umbrellas. People who stayed at home must be happy.
47 GRANT PENALTY! 3-6! This time they decide to take the points as Bekker is taken out in the air. The lead is back with the Stormers then - it is deserved.
45 LE ROUX YELLOW! He goes for a deliberate offside.
44 Another offence going against the Cheetahs and that leads to a warning being given by Jonker to home skipper Strauss. He informs his team-mates before the Stormers look to maul the five remaining metres to the whitewash. Key moment here one feels.
Second-half Welcome back. The rain has stopped and the Stormers are on the march, with Grant turning down the kickable penalty and instead going for the corner.
40 Half-time in Bloemfontein and it's three apiece. Not the best 40 minutes of rugby as you may well have gathered but things can only get better. Keep the faith!
38 SMIT PENALTY! 3-3! The Stormers are caught offside at a ruck so here is another opportunity for Smit to level matters while visiting full-back Pietersen gets some medical attention. Up steps the Cheetahs pivot...this time he makes it count. We're level.
34 Here is Ashley Johnson coming off the bench for Downey - he may enjoy these conditions will the number eight. Well it is his front-five forwards who have done the great work here as they win a scrum penalty in a kickable position. It's missed by fly-half Smit.
31 The Cheetahs do well to survive as it's De Villiers who fumbles a ball above his head to allow Strauss to take his side out of their own 22. Storm weathered.
29 Attacking scrum for the Stormers now about fifteen metres out. How they would love a score of any kind in this weather right now. This will be a low-scoring game.
27 The rain continues to fall in Bloemfontein as the Stormers muscle their way back to within striking distance via the driving mail. There is nothing flashy about their play today but it looks effective as their territorial dominance increases minute by minute.
24 Over ten phases of ball for the Stormers there as forward trio Siya Kolisi, Rynardt Elstadt and Kitshoff made ground. But captain and inside centre Jean de Villiers ended up going in at the side at an ensuing ruck so now it's the Cheetahs who survive.
20 What defence from the Stormers as they backtrack to stop the Cheetahs from scoring what looked like a certain try. First it was Willie le Roux collecting a chip over the top 40 out but then when the recycled ball went to the left to Izak van der Westhuizen, the Stormers were there to tackle and drive him into touch. Their try-line remains intact. Impressive.
17 GRANT PENALTY! 0-3! The Stormers are first on the board after a nice break from the pivot leads to Andries Ferreira not rolling away inches from the line.
14 It gets worse for Fourie as his next line-out, 40 metres out, is called not straight. No excuses there as it only went the five. Cheetahs scrum on their ten-metre.
13 Lovely kick from Duvenage into space for Habana to run after now, but that's good covering work from Nico Scheepers as he slides into touch close to his own line. The Stormers do not make the most of their attacking platform though as Fourie overthrows.
10 An attempted snap drop-goal from Smit doesn't come off and he would be advised not to go for those on this wet surface. Oh but what about this? The Stormers could be on their way here if Habana can collect that intercept...he juggles...but cannot hold it. Lucky break for the Cheetahs there as there would have been no catching the Springbok finisher.
7 Penalty awarded to the Cheetahs after the Stormers went off their feet but unfortunately for the hosts, the touch-finder doesn't find touch. Net result, the Cheetahs are back in their own half with captain Adriaan Strauss about to throw in on his own ten-metre line.
5 Not the best conditions for running rugby today as a bit of rain is in the air. And that forces an error from Dewaldt Duvenage as his box kick goes straight out - a chance for the Cheetahs once again then as Heinrich Brussow looks to carry for his charges.
3 Nyakane takes contact just outside the 22 but the hosts find themselves repelled for now. It is worth mentioning the Stormers have the stingiest defence in 2012.
Kick-off A change of referee to mention before the start as Marius Jonker is in for an ill Craig Joubert. Here we go then with the Stormers put under a bit of pressure in their own 22 before full-back Pietersen clears the lines. Cheetahs are wearing orange today.
Team news Steven Kitshoff, Bryan Habana, Joe Pietersen, Rynhardt Elstadt and Jebb Sinclair are back in their Stormers' line-up while the Cheetahs have Justin Downey at number eight, Cameron Jacobs starting on the wing while Barry Geel gets a run at centre.
Welcome Hello and welcome to coverage of the penultimate game of the Super Rugby weekend. We are in Bloemfontein for this one as Naka Drotske's Cheetahs face Allister Coetzee's Stormers. The latter know that a losing bonus-point here would see them end top of the South African conference. Let's see if it will be that or more points for them.
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|Newcastle Falcons 12 - 16 Leicester Tigers|
|Wasps 17 - 26 Saracens|
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