Super Rugby: Cheetahs defeat DHL Stormers 26-24 in Bloemfontein
Last Updated: April 6, 2013 7:03pm
A late Burton Francis penalty saw the Cheetahs beat the DHL Stormers for the first time since 2007 in a dramatic 26-24 victory at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The fly-half came back to haunt his ex-team-mates with a kick from close to the touchline with the final play of the game to secure his side a franchise record fifth win in a row.
In their nine previous matches, the Cheetahs had been victorious just twice, but Francis' late kick ensured that the visitors suffered their second successive loss.
Robert Ebersohn handed the Cheetahs an early lead but two tries from Springbok centre Juan de Jongh helped the Stormers back into the contest and they opened up a healthy 15-7 lead at the break.
Dynamic duo Sarel Pretorius and Coenie Oosthuisen emerged from the sidelines for the final half-an-hour with the hosts trailing 15-10.
And Pretorius made an immediate impact as he stole the ball and promptly raced 40 metres to the corner for a converted try that put the Cheetahs 17-15 in front.
However, that was to be his last act in a cameo as he left the field having damaged a hamstring before Joe Pietersen kicked two goals to make it 17-21.
Francis did cut the gap on the hour mark before landing a monster drop-goal with 13 minutes remaining that made it 23-21.
But there was more drama to come after Pietersen had made it 23-24 with six minutes remaining.
A late penalty was blown against Stormers replacement Damian de Allende by referee Stuart Berry at the breakdown and Francis did the rest to send the home crowd into raptures.