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Cheetahs v Force - Live
80 FULL-TIME: CHEETAHS 16-23 FORCE
80 That's it! The hooter goes and the Force have won in Bloem for the first time in six years. Great performance from the visitors. Thanks for joining us!
80 Force scrum on halfway, it's slow and it's being reset again and again. The visitors don't mind at all with the clock now red.
78 Time ticking away here in Bloem, the Cheetahs toiling away with the ball but not able to breach the visitors' defence once more.
76 The Force exit well, and Le Roux takes a quick lineout, but there's a forward pass and the hosts once more shoot themselves in the foot.
74 They are so, so close again, but what wonderful defence from the Force as Prinsloo is held up, sucked in and isolated. Hodgson brilliant yet again. The Force have the scrum.
73 The Cheetahs very dominant now as they rumble another maul into the 22 and win the penalty. Into the corner it goes once more.
72 No try! Oosthuizen was short, and he rolled it over the line - did momentum play a part? It's a harsh call, but the tighthead is penalised and the Force clear.
71 It looks like try-time again for the Cheetahs! Coenie Oosthuizen reached for the line and it looks like he got there. We're going upstairs.
69 The hosts now have a scrum deep inside the Force 22.
68 Silly penalty conceded by the visitors, however, and Goosen punts down into Force territory. Not a lot in this as both teams appear to be tiring. 12 to go.
67 Messy lineout, and we're back to aerial ping-pong. Le Roux puts it out on halfway, Force back on the ball.
65 Cheetahs under pressure in their own 22 but exit well. Force will have the lineout 25 metres out, though, and they'll have a chance to attack.
62 It comes to nothing as they are once again turned over in the Force 22. Big hit from Cummins.
61 Penalty eight metres inside the Cheetahs half, and Goosen goes to touch on the 22.
60 Force back up to 15, but under pressure again before Brache steps in to win a turnover on his own 22. Not for the first time the centre is influential at the breakdown.
58 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, GOOSEN! 16-23 He cuts the gap once more.
57 Penalty opportunity for the Cheetahs as the Force pack stray offside in front of the kicker. Lazy work that puts the visitors back under pressure. Goosen for goal.
56 CONVERSION, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 13-23 Perfect again from Ebersohn outwide, in off BOTH uprights and the lead is back to ten.
54 TRY, FORCE, CUMMINS! 13-21 The Honey Badger gets some more meat! Super running rugby and continuity once again from the visitors, as they make ground, go through the phases and Cummins has a run-in. Lovely stuff.
53 Imprecision stifling the Cheetahs attack as they make it into the 22 before knocking on. Back in their own half now.
51 They do, and there's some back and forth kicking between the two sets of back-threes.
49 Super kick from Ebersohn under pressure, drops one right into the corner with le Roux all over him. Cheetahs must exit well here.
47 CONVERSION, CHEETAHS, GOOSEN! 13-16
47 TRY, CHEETAHS, PRINSLOO! 11-16 It's tight, but it's good. Chris Pollock awards the try, it's the back-row who burrows over from close-range.
47 Looks like a try for the Cheetahs! We check with the TMO...
46 It's yellow for Matt Hodgson who slapped the ball from Pretorius' grasp at the breakdown. Into the corner goes the ball once again. Will the extra man help them over at last?
45 They just can't exploit the space and get over the line. A deft chip-kick to the corner is easily fielded and marked by Hayward, and handbags ensue. We're going upstairs to check for foul play.
44 Penalty Cheetahs, into the corner.
42 Cheetahs attack once more, but again they cannot find that killer touch in the 22 as Goosen runs out of space and winds up in touch at the corner. Nice build-up, no finish. They've been handed another chance, though, as the throw from the Force is not straight.
40 Teams back out, and we're off again in Bloem. Cheetahs seeking a comeback.
40 HALF-TIME: CHEETAHS 6-16 FORCE
40 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, GOOSEN! 6-16
40 This time the Cheetahs win a fine steal on the Force 22, but once more fail to break through rigid defence from the visitors. They win a penalty in front of the sticks as the clock ticks red, and they'll take the points. A very clinical, disciplined display from the Force so far, and they hold a well-earned lead at the break.
37 PENALTY, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 3-16 Another cracker from Ebersohn who maintains his perfect record, and the Force deservedly stretch their lead.
35 Good attack from the Force, now, and Goosen lies all over the ball at the ruck, conceding a penalty that Ebersohn will line up.
34 Again, the Cheetahs build phases in the visitors' half. Again, they concede a penalty. Great work at the breakdown.
32 Scrum-five to the hosts, but the Force win the penalty at the set-piece yet again. Defending very well so far, and they can clear downfield.
31 The Force have more defending to do, and they've done it with aplomb as the maul is sacked and le Roux bundled into touch at the corner.
30 Meanwhile, Ebersohn isn't looking good as he receives treatment. Holmes stripped on the touchline but not required yet as the fly-half stays on.
30 So close for the hosts, but they just can't force their way over. They've got another penalty, though.
28 Right away, though, the Force obstruct the receiver from the kick-off. Strauss wants seven points rather than three and Goosen knocks it into the corner.
26 CONVERSION, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 3-13 Lovely kick from the touchline and now the Force hold a ten-point lead.
24 TRY, FORCE, HAYWARD! 3-11 Wonderful rugby from the visitors, who are so dangerous on the counter-attack! Hodgson makes a super steal, breaks downfield and the support is there as it goes through three pairs of hands to reach the full-back.
21 PENALTY, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 3-6 Force back in front and playing well in Bloem.
21 Another penalty in the shadow of the home posts, this time it's for tackler not rolling away. Ebersohn instructed to take the points.
20 Scrum penalty to the Force, who are really impressing in the set-piece just now. They want to scrum again.
19 Great strength from Cummins after a lovely looping pass from Longbottom gave him space to attack in the 22. He drives over the line carrying four of five Cheetahs with him, but is inevitably held up.
17 The Force denied a super try as the Cheetahs' attempted grubber is deflected back to the visitors. Kyle Godwin eventually finished off the move after great hands from Cummins and Haylett-Petty. But the rebound resulted in an accidental offside and the Cheetahs get out of jail.
15 Chance goes a-begging, but the Force looking very good with the ball in hand. They're bundled into touch at the lineout, then steal it, but are penalised by Chris Pollock right on the line.
12 Great work from Brache in the tackle hands the Force a glorious attacking opportunity with a scrum on the 22, centre-field.
11 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, GOOSEN! 3-3 Scores level as Goosen strikes.
10 Another, easier penalty chance for the pivot, however, as the Cheetahs build phases in the visitors' 22.
8 Goosen's kick drifts wide of the near post, though. Remains 3-0, eight minutes gone.
7 First scrum penalty of the game goes the way of the hosts. It's a long way out, but they're going for three points.
5 Cheetahs attack but lose the ball on the ground five metres from the line and the Force clear. A glimpse of what they offer going forward.
3 PENALTY, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 0-3 Easy as you like for the Saffer. Force take the lead.
2 Early penalty for the visitors in front of the sticks as the Cheetahs hold on to the ball on the deck. Ebersohn for three.
1 Ebersohn has us underway!
We're all set here in Bloem as the teams emerge. This one should have plenty of points!
Sias Ebersohn takes on his countrymen from the fly-half position today for the Force, with fellow South African Wilhelm Steenkamp on the bench. Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins starts on the left wing, with the influential Jayden Hayward at full-back.
Cheetahs boss Naka Drotski has recalled fly-half Johan Goosen and prop Coenie Oosthuizen and expects big contributions from the Springbok duo, while Wille le Roux continues on the left wing.
Welcome to live coverage from Bloemfontein of the lowly Cheetahs' clash with the high-flying Force. We'll be back soon with team news from both camps.
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|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
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|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
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|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
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|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle Falcons 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
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|Friday 19th December|
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