Petersen in star role as Cheetahs savage Lions

HAT-TRICK ACHIEVEMENT: Sergeal Petersen shares his jubilation with a teammate during the Currie Cup semifinal match between Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Golden Lions Picture: GALLO IMAGES
HAT-TRICK ACHIEVEMENT: Sergeal Petersen shares his jubilation with a teammate during the Currie Cup semifinal match between Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Golden Lions. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Ex-Kings player back in top form after injury problems

The Free State Cheetahs‚ spearheaded by brilliant wing Sergeal Petersen and dead-eye goalkicker Niel Marais‚ advanced to the Currie Cup final with a resounding win over defending champions the Lions.

The Cheetahs went through the entire pool phase of the tournament without a blemish‚ winning eight out of eight matches‚ and they simply continued that form into the tough semifinal and will host next weekend’s final.

The Lions suffered without half the team that won the title last season‚ but even so‚ the Cheetahs are a unit made up of up-and-comers‚ journeymen and the odd star and should not have trampled the Lions so easily in Bloemfontein.

The home team also had to overcome two second-half yellow cards – to centre Rayno Benjamin and flank Paul Schoeman for repeated infringements and a dangerous tackle respectively – but by then the job was done.

Free State led 26-0 at half time and by the time Benjamin received his yellow‚ they led 33-0.

Marais‚ who played Varsity Cup a year ago‚ contributed 21 points from a perfect eight shots at goal.

The Free State pack was excellent, and scrumhalf Shaun Venter fleet-footed and decisive behind it‚ so giving Petersen a good platform from which to sprinkle his stardust.

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