Friday 24 May 2019

Horwitz kicks key scores in Connacht win

Cheetahs 17 Connacht 21

1 December 2018; Gavin Thornbury of Connacht is tackled by Erich de Jager of Toyota Cheetahs during the Guinness PRO14 Round 10 match between Toyota Cheetahs and Connacht at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile
1 December 2018; Gavin Thornbury of Connacht is tackled by Erich de Jager of Toyota Cheetahs during the Guinness PRO14 Round 10 match between Toyota Cheetahs and Connacht at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile

Connacht picked up their fourth win from five games against South African opposition as tries from Tom Farrell and Gavin Thornbury returned Andy Friend's side to third place in Conference A. Two penalties in the second half from David Horwitz saw Connacht over the line and Sean Venter's late try proved insufficient for the home side in the brutal heat of the Highveld.

Connacht hit the front after just five minutes. Last week Matt Healy scored a try off a first-phase lineout move, and this time it was Farrell who touched down. Caolin Blade did very well to gather a messy ball off the top of the lineout near halfway and he found Farrell on the burst. His hand-off got him past Joseph Dweba, before a brilliant sidestep helped him to a third PRO14 try of the season. Jack Carty slotted the tough conversion from the left for a 7-0 lead. Carty soon stretched Connacht's lead out to ten points when he kicked a 21st-minute penalty.

Shaun Venter of Toyota Cheetahs gets his pass away. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile
Shaun Venter of Toyota Cheetahs gets his pass away. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile

Despite leading by ten points Connacht were not dominating totally, but they were ruthless and after 28 minutes they struck for a second try. A huge Carty penalty pinned Cheetahs into their own 22, and eventually the driving maul produced the try for Thornbury.

As the first half progressed the conditions clearly had an effect on Connacht. Niyi Adeolokun was unable to stop Malcolm Jaer's run to the try-line just after the half-hour mark for Cheetahs' first try. Adeolokun went off injured straight away after picking up an injury as he attempted to tackle Jaer.

Louis Fouche's conversion was shanked wide as Connacht still led 15-5, but four minutes later he was lining up another kick after Dweba mauled over the try-line.

Friend's side added to their tally when Horwitz - on for Carty - put Connacht eight and then 11 points clear from in front of the posts in the second half.

Paul Boyle of Connacht wins possession from a lineout over JP du Preez of Toyota Cheetahs. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile
Paul Boyle of Connacht wins possession from a lineout over JP du Preez of Toyota Cheetahs. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Sportsfile

Cheetahs' third try from Shaun Venter put just four points between the sides, with seven minutes to go, but Connacht held on.

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