Connacht complete double in South Africa
CONNACHT picked up their fourth win from five games against South African opposition when beating the Cheetahs 21-17 in Bloemfontein.
Two penalties in the second-half from David Horwitz saw Connacht over the line and Sean Venter’s late try proved insufficient for the home side.
Connacht hit the front early when Farrell went over from a lineout move. Carty converted for a 7-0 lead, before extending it with a 21st-minute penalty.
Cheetahs had chances, but Connacht were taking theirs and after 28 minutes they struck for a second try as a driving maul produced a try for Gavin Thornbury — his first try for the province. Conditions were oppressive and helped the Cheetahs as their high-tempo game paid off with Malcolm Jaer’s try, but Louis Fouche shanked the conversion. He hit a penalty soon afterwards to make the score at the break 5-10 to Connacht.
Minutes after the restart a last-gasp ankle tap denied Kyle Godwin a try, and Cheetahs continued to grow, but it was Andy Friend’s side that added to their tally when Horwitz — on for Carty — put Connacht eight points clear from in front of the posts.
More fresh legs helped earn a penalty for the westerners — Colby Fainga’a’s carry did the damage — after 65 minutes, which Horwitz easily kicked to put Connacht 11 points clear.
It proved a good decision considering Cheetahs’ third try put just four points between the sides, with minutes to go, but Connacht held on.