Pro14: Cardiff Blues 24-21 Cheetahs - Blues fight back to scrape victory
|Guinness Pro14: Cardiff Blues v Cheetahs|
|Cardiff Blues (10) 24|
|Tries: Lee-Lo, Ll Williams, Robinson Cons: Anscombe 3 Pen: Anscombe|
|Cheetahs (7) 21|
|Tries: Steenkamp, Maxwane, Janse Van Rensburg Cons: Schoeman 3|
Cardiff Blues scraped past Cheetahs for a 24-21 Pro14 victory after coming from 11 points down in the final quarter.
Late tries from Lloyd Williams and Olly Robinson gave them victory after Rey Lee-Lo's first-half score.
Gareth Anscombe added nine points with the boot.
Walt Steenkamp, Benhard Janse van Rensburg and Sibhale Maxwane crossed for the South Africans, who won a bonus point as they stayed winless.
The game was marked by multiple TMO consultations between referee George Clancy and fourth official Jon Mason, with several hair-line decisions given to the attacking side.
Cardiff eventually found their attacking rhythm to collect a second successive win after a disjointed first hour.
The visitors took the lead after 18 minutes when lock Steenkamp dived on a loose ball over the Blues line for a fortunate score, converted by Tian Schoeman.
That seemed to spur Cardiff Blues into life and a grubber kick from Anscombe saw Lee-Lo pounce, Anscombe levelling at 7-7 after another lengthy TMO check gave the attacking side the benefit of the doubt.
But an Anscombe penalty a minute from the break was the only other score of a frustrating first half.
Video official Mason was called into action again 10 minutes after the break, allowing Maxwane's fleeting touchdown from Schoeman's grubber despite suggestions of a forward pass earlier in the move.
The home side then went two scores down on the hour as Nico Lee's slip pass put van Rensburg over, Schoemann converting again for a 21-10 lead.
That forced the hosts to up the tempo and replacement Lloyd Williams sniped over from a ruck with 15 minutes left.
Then came Robinson's crucial try, ploughing over after a superb driving maul with 11 minutes left, Anscombe's third conversion making it 24-21.
The momentum was now with the Welsh side and they just failed in a late bid to collect an improbable bonus point as they were held up on the line in the final move.
Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill was relieved to see his side win, saying: "We had guys kicking the ball away, we had 50-50 passes. We weren't patient in what we were trying to do.
"We were trying to get a four-try bonus point in the first 15 minutes and we probably left four or five tries out there in the first 20 minutes.
"Opponents get confidence and momentum when they see you do that."
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Jason Harries; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Scott Andrews, George Earle, Rory Thornton, Olly Robinson, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Josh Turnbull.
Replacement: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Lloyd Williams, Steven Shingler, Garyn Smith.
Cheetahs: Ryno Eksteen; William Small-Smith, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Nico Lee, Rabz Maxwane; Tian Schoeman, Tian Meyer (capt); Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Aranos Coetzee, Walt Steenkamp, JP du Preez, Gerhard Olivier, Niell Jordaan, Junior Pokomela.
Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Charles Marais, Günther Janse van Vuuren, Justin Basson, Stephan Malan, Daniel Maartens, Shaun Venter, Louis Fouche.
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville (IRFU), Gwyn Morris (WRU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)
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