Cheetahs put a convincing end to Munster’s unbeaten start in Bloemfontein
South African side run in six tries to continue perfect start to the Pro 14 season
Cheetahs 40 Munster 16
Six days on from their comprehensive victory over Ulster, the Cheetahs inflicted fresh damage on an Irish province in Bloemfontein on Friday night as Munster suffered a first defeat of the season.
Despite beginning their mini-tour of South Africa with an impressive triumph over Southern Kings last weekend, Munster came off second best to their impressive southern hemisphere counterparts.
The Cheetahs enjoyed a perfect start to the contest as powerful loosehead prop Ox Nche crossed over for a converted try on 10 minutes. Munster subsequently worked their way back into contention with a brace of Tyler Bleyendaal penalties, only for flanker Junior Pokomela to grab a second try for the free-flowing Cheetahs.
Nevertheless, another place kick from the reliable Bleyendaal ensured Munster were just three points in arrears (12-9) at the break.
The Cheetahs were eager to maintain their 100 per cent record in the new campaign, however, and pulled further in front on the resumption. After the hosts had turned over their opponents, the ball was worked out wide for winger William Small-Smith to touch down in clinical fashion.
Ex-Ulster scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar made no mistake off the resultant conversion and Munster’s chances of success effectively evaporated when Joseph Dweba secured a fourth try for the rampant Cheetahs.
This sealed a third consecutive bonus point for the South Africans, who added an additional five-pointer through Jasper Wiese on 71 minutes.
CHEETAHS: R Smith; W Small-Smith, B Janse van Rensburg, L Fouche, A Volmink; T Schoeman, R Pienaar; O Nche, J Dweba, L de Bruin; S Manjezi, W Steenkamp; G Olivier, J Pokomela, H Venter.
Replacements: J Wiese for Olivier (h/t), C Blommetjies for Small-Smith, S Koen for Pokomela (both 57 mins), R Venter for Dweba, B Venter for Nche, N Fouche for De Bruin, JP du Preez for Manjezi (all 67), T Meyer for Pienaar (72).
MUNSTER: M Haley; D Sweetnam, D Goggin, R Scannell, S Daly; T Bleyendaal, N McCarthy; J Loughman, R Marshall, S Archer; F Wycherley, B Holland; J O’Donoghue, T O’Donnell, A Botha.
Replacements: A Mathewson for McCarthy (49 mins), K O’Byrne for Marshall (50), J Cronin for Loughman, K Knox for Archer, G Coombes for O’Donnell (all 55), JJ Hanrahan for Bleyendaal (61), C Nash for Haley (64), D O’Shea for Wycherley (72).
Referee: M Adamson (SRU).