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Cheetahs v Blues - Live
Cheetahs 34-13 Blues
80 The ball is knocked on in midfield and that's that, the Cheetahs are in the play-offs and the Blues chances are over.
78 TRY, CHEETAHS, PRINSLOO, 34-13. The Cheetahs have another one! They're so hungry from the line-out and van der Walt and Pretorius are both involved before the replacement flanker Boom Prinsloo forces his way over the line. Elgar Watts can't convert.
78 Scrum to the Blues on halfway and the Cheetahs are pinged for an early engagement. The Blues tap and go and Ranger - certainly not for the first time - runs strongly at the defence. The visitors infringe at the breakdown though and the Cheetahs take the resulting penalty quickly. Rhule sprints down the near touchline before putting in a grubber which is hacked into touch on the Blues 22.
76 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, SMIT, 29-14. Smit adds the extras and the Bloemfontein outfit are certainly now assured of their spot in the play-offs for the first time!
75 TRY, CHEETAHS, PRETORIUS, 27-13. Peter Saili takes it from the base and Kerr puts in the kick with the Cheetahs baring down on him. He can't find touch and the Cheetahs counter. Le Roux, Oosthuizen and Nyakane all get their hands on it before Sarel Pretorius snaps up a loose ball at the base of the ruck and sprints over.
71 The Blues can't sack the line-out first up but they do really well to stand up and steam the tied and the maul fragments and the ball is turned over.
70 Horror show from the Blues as it's spread wide just a few metres in front of their own line and the ball is spilled. The Cheetahs try to move the ball quickly and the Blues are forced to go off-side to halt their progress. Line-out five out from the Blues line.
69 Le Roux finds a gap from the scrum and he hands it inside to Ebersohn who gets man and ball but holds on. The ball is moved from one side to the other as the hosts progress into the 22. A great bit of play from the hosts but Strauss puts a foot in touch as steps inside and it's all for naught. Landman gets int the way at line-out time but he can only get a hand on the ball and it's knocked on.
66 Peter Saili is held up as he breaks off the back of the scrum and the Cheetahs have got the ball back - can they do something with it?
65 The Cheetahs steal the ball at the back of the line-out but they can't secure possession as the ball is knocked on. Some nerves here from the hosts with a play-off berth in sight.
64 It's messy from the Cheetahs but the ball is hacked into the Blues 22 and Halai is forced to run it out. The ball is cleared down to Rhule and he finds touch inside the Blues half.
63 A knock on from van der Walt gifts the Blues a scrum on the Cheetahs 22 but as they move the ball sideways they're held up and when the visitors can't produce the ball a scrum is awarded to the Cheetahs.
61 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT 22-13. It's almost exactly the same kick as Kerr had and like his opposite number, Smit finds the target.
60 The Cheetahs manage to steal possession at the restart but they go backwards under pressure. Mealamu provides them with relief though as he ignores calls that the ball is not out and goes offside at the ruck. Smit to go for posts.
59 PENALTY, BLUES, KERR 13-19. Kerr makes no mistake and the gap is down to six.
58 Frustrating stuff as the hosts knock on and the Blues have a scrum on their side of halfway. Brussow is pinged at the tackle and the Blues decide to go for the three-pointer from 48m out.
54 Kerr puts in a high one back to Daniller who returns the favour. Kerr once again in possession and this time he finds touch just inside the Cheetahs 22.
52 Better scrum from the Blues and Piutau is brought into the line. The Blues get it through a few phases before Smit gets the turnover and the Cheetahs attack once more. The Cheetahs move the ball from side to side without making too much ground but it's that man Le Roux who once again creates the space for a runner on his shoulder - in this case Landman - to burst into space. The number eight sprints over but the ref immediately goes to the TMO as the pass looked forward and the man upstairs confirms as much.
49 No surprise as the Cheetahs look to run the ball from inside their half but Le Roux knocks on and it's a scrum on halfway to the Blues.
48 A lot of pressure at scrum time from the Cheetahs and under Gibson-Park does really well to collect and then break through the first line of defence. Braid is in support and they're over the halfway line but flanker's pass goes loose. The Blues infringe as they try to get their hands back on it and van Zyl sweeps into the Blues half with a tap and go. The hosts come close but it's turned over and Ranger breaks away! He's hinted down by Rhule though and Piutau knocks on as he tries to pick up a ball that was hurled back by Ranger as he found himself isolated on the ground. Scrum to the Cheetahs just on their side of their 10m line.
45 The Cheetahs turn it over through Strauss and Le Roux hacks it down field. Ranger tries to counter but it's messy and the Cheetahs nearly get a chance to counter but the ball is knocked on.
42 Boric does well to field the restart but Oosthuizen gets in the way and holds up the maul. The Cheetahs move the ball really well from the scrum and they have some space out wide as van der Walt hands it off to Brussouw. The flanker comes inside and the ball is kept alive but Ranger stands tall in the tackle and holds up the ball - scrum Blues.
Away we go Riaan Smit gets us underway once more!
CHEETAHS 19-10 BLUES
40 The Blues try to throw the ball around a bit but it's all happening behind the gain line. Francis Saili sends a forward pass out to Frank Halai so the Cheetahs will have one last chance to attack. Nope, Smit kicks it out. That's half time. The Cheetahs have totally dominated and deserve their lead but considering how much possession they've had, the gap should be more than nine points. We'll be back in ten!
38 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT. 19-10. Five from five so far for Smit.
36 A series of reset scrums as the Blues desperately try to get the hit on. Eventually the penalty goes to the Cheetahs. Brussow and Peter Saili swing some handbags but there's nothing in it. The Cheetahs choose to go for goal.
34 Unreal attacking from Sadie and van Zyl. The centre breaks clear before the scrum-half evades a handful of tackles but is stopped 10m short. Ranger knocks it down at the ruck so the Cheetahs will have a great chance to attack from a scrum.
32 MISSED PENALTY by Kerr. That's a bad miss from Kerr after the Blues forced the penalty on the deck.
30 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT. 16-10. The Cheetahs eventually settle for the three points, but it should have been a lot more.
29 No try! But the Cheetahs go straight on the attack as we come back for a penalty. They've made a hash of it though, white-line fever as it's dropped inches short.
27 Try for Willie le Roux! Or is it? A chip over the top and the wing pounces but did he control the ball? The TMO will decide...
26 PENALTY, BLUES, KERR. 13-10. Again the Blues reply almost immediately to a Cheetahs score. Sam Prattley earns a scrum penalty and Kerr splits the uprights.
24 CONVERSION, SMIT. 13-7. Easy extras for Smit.
23 TRY, CHEETAHS, VAN DER WALT. 11-7. Tighthead at the 5m scrum! Cheetahs number eight Philip van der Walt breaks off the back of the scrum and muscles his way over the line!
21 All the pressure is coming from the Cheetahs who have had 75 percent of the possession! Heinrich Brussow goes for the line but knocks on in the act of trying to get the ball over the whitewash.
18 The Cheetahs show some great hands as Johann Sadie and Robert Ebersohn combine to stretch the Blues defence. One 50/50 pass too many though as Philip van der Walt can't hold on. We come back for a penalty for offside though and the Cheetahs kick into the corner.
16 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT. 6-7. No mistakes from the home kicker, who cuts the gap to a single point.
14 The Cheetahs win a penalty at scrum time as Coenie Oosthuizen gets the better of Angus Ta'avao. Smit will have a shot at goal.
12 The Cheetahs are enjoying the Lion's share of possession but they could do with showing a bit more patience. And handful of handling errors from both sides means play is restricted to centre field.
10 Oh! So close! The Cheetahs some how dangerous they can be from deep as Willie le Roux bursts away down the touchline. A try is on the cards but his pass is just a fraction too far in front of Piet van Zyl, who can't hang on.
8 It's end-to-end stuff in Bloemfontein. Classic Cheetahs rugby and the Blues are happy to give the ball some air too!
6 CONVERSION, KERR. 3-7. Straight down the middle from Baden Kerr, who adds the extras.
4 TRY, BLUES, GIBSON-PARK. 3-5. Whoa! What a reply from the Blues! Peter Saili breaks and makes a beautiful offload to Jamison Gibson-Park, who cruises over.
2 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT. 3-0. First blood to the hosts! The Blues are offside and the home fly-half makes sure of the points from long range.
Kick-off Here we go! The Blues kick us off and the Cheetahs are immediately on the attack as Adriaan Strauss bolts down the left touchline and into Blues territory.
Team news Cheetahs boss Naka Drotske announced an unchanged side midweek but there are question marks over the fitness of full-back Hennie Daniller, prop Coenie Oosthuizen and scrum-half Piet van Zyl.
Team news The Blues are still in with a shout of making the play-offs, assuming other results go their way and they win here today. Ranger has been recalled to the Blues starting line up. Elsewhere in the back-line, scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park and fly-half Baden Kerr replace the injured pair of Piri Weepu (ribs) and Chris Noakes (thigh). In the pack, Sam Prattley gets the nod ahead of Tim Perry at loosehead prop while utility-back Marty McKenzie and half-back Wayne Ngaluafe have been brought onto the bench.
Welcome Hello and welcome to Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein where the Cheetahs face a season-defining clash against the Blues. Victory for the hosts - who are guaranteed four points from a bye next week - would be enough to book a spot in the play-offs for the first time in their history. Kick-off is approaching, don't go anywhere!
Updates to appear here at 14:35 local (13:35 BST, 12:35 GMT)
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|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
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|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
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|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
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|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
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|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
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|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
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|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
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|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
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|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
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|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
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|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
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|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
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|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
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|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
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|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
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|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
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