Free State Cheetahs too good for Blue Bulls
The Free State Cheetahs opened their 2012 Currie Cup account on Friday with a 32-18 win over the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein.
The sides ended with two tries apiece but the home team led from start to finish and held 23-10 advantage at the interval.
Naka Drotské's men bounced back from defeat to the Lions in Round One as Andries Ferreira crashed over inside the first minute before Kabamba Floors scored on the stroke of half time.
Riaan Smit's boot did the rest as the wing finished the game with a personal haul of 19 points.
Bulls number eight CJ Stander touched down on either side of half time but his brace was not enough to compensate for the visitors' poor dicsipline which allowed Smit to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Smit landed all seven of his kicks at goal including five penalties and two conversions, the first of which came within seconds of kick-off when Ferreira charged through three defenders to score after the Bulls had turned over possession.
Despite the Bulls territorial dominance, Smit extended the lead to 10-0 after 18 minutes.
Bulls fly-half Louis Fouche and Smit traded penalties but the visitors finally got a try of their own on the half-hour mark as Stander ended a sweeping move down the touchline by brushing off Izak van der Westhuizen's tackle.
Smit landed a third penalty before Floors grabbed a try two minutes after the half-time hooter thanks to a well-timed pass from scrum-half Sarel Pretorius.
Fouche and Smit traded penalties soon after the restart but the Cheetahs were starting to win the battle at the breakdown and the home sharpshooter continued to extend the lead.
Stander strolled over for a try in the dying minutes but it proved too little, too late and replacement back Nico Scheepers's penalty ensured the Bulls were out of range of a losing bonus point.
For Free State Cheetahs: Tries: Ferreira, Floors Cons: Smit 2 Pens: Smit 5, Scheepers
For Blue Bulls: Tries: Stander 2 Con: Fouche Pens: Fouche 2