BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) - Flyhalf Neil Marais booted 21 points as the Free State Cheetahs completed a perfect season with a 36-16 home victory over the Blue Bulls in the final of South Africa’s domestic championship on Saturday.
The Cheetahs won all 10 of their matches in the Currie Cup to lift the trophy for the first time since 2007, and just the fifth time overall in the 124-year history of the competition.
The home side ran in tries through fullback Clayton Blommetjies and wing Sergeal Petersen, while replacement flyhalf Fred Zellinga kicked a penalty and a conversion.
The Bulls points came via a try by scrumhalf Piet van Zyl that was converted by Joshua Stander, as well as three penalties from flyhalf Tian Schoeman.
The victory is a personal triumph for Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who has received widespread praise for his team’s attacking play this season, leading to his addition to the Springbok technical team as attack and skills coach for the end of season tour to Europe that starts next month.
Reporting by Nick Said