Cheetahs pip Stormers after the siren
April 7, 2013
Robert Ebersohn (l) scored the opening try for the Cheetahs
© Getty Images
Burton Francis converted a penalty after the full-time whistle to hand the Cheetahs a thrilling 26-24 victory over the Stormers in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
With the Stormers leading 24-23 in the final seconds, the Cheetahs were awarded a penalty and first fly-half Francis made no mistake, kicking the winning score four minutes after the siren, much to the delight of an ecstatic home crowd.
Saturday's triumph, the Cheetahs' third win in 10 previous meetings with the Stormers, helped the Bloemfontein-based outfit to their fifth successive Super Rugby victory.
The opening stages were tight before Robert Ebersohn crossed over for the Cheetahs' opening try.
Francis successfully converted to give the hosts a 7-0, lead but the Stormers hit back just before the half-time interval.
The Cheetahs made quick inroads after the break, Francis reducing the deficit to five points early in the second half.
The Cheetahs are on a roll after winning their fifth straight match (Video available in Australia only)%]
Sarel Pretorius then put the Cheetahs ahead soon after with a try, which Francis successfully converted to hand Naka Drotske's men a 17-15 lead.
However, the Stormers hit the front yet again on the back of two Pietersen penalties. Their lead was eventually overturned as Francis converted a Cheetahs penalty, making it 21-20 for the hosts.
After 67 minutes of play, Francis showed his accurate kicking skills with a pin-point drop goal, but the Stormers regained the lead through Pietersen's late penalty kick.
But delight turned to despair for the Stormers when Francis put the ball between the sticks deep into stoppage time after Damian de Allende was penalised for holding in the tackle.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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