Goosen kicks Cheetahs to historic win
February 21, 2014
Johan Goosen was on song against the Bulls
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Johan Goosen was the star as the Cheetahs overcame the Bulls for the first time in Super Rugby with a 15-9 victory in wet Bloemfontein.
It was an ugly win in a kick-dominated game at the Free State Stadium but that did not dampen the Cheetahs' celebrations. After 11 consecutive losses to fellow South Africans the Bulls in the southern hemisphere inter-provincial championship, the Cheetahs finally got one over their greatest bogey team.
Fly-half Goosen, viewed by many as the long-term successor to Springboks No.10 Morne Steyn, was the 15-point match-winner. He kicked four penalties from five attempts - and the one that failed was a long-range effort that rebounded off the crossbar.
The former champions Bulls owed many past victories to Steyn, and the Pretoria outfit are finding it hard to replace the goal-kicking skills of the now Paris-based fly-half. Louis Fouche succeeded with only one of three kickable first-half attempts and replacement Handre Pollard fared only marginally better with two penalties from three shots.
While the lively Cheetahs put a shock home loss to the Lions behind them, the Bulls are in trouble with this dismal display after a heavy loss at the Sharks.
The rain, which varied between light and torrential, did not help, but the conditions cannot excuse some of the basic handling and field-kicking errors.
Veteran lock Victor Matfield made his customary second-half appearance to become the most capped South African in Super Rugby with 126 appearances. The 36-year-old, who ended a two-year retirement this month, nudged ahead of two retired Springboks, hooker John Smit and loose forward AJ Venter.
The Cheetahs prevailed in a dour contest at Free State Stadium