Cheetahs leave it late
Van Zyl pounces for injury-time winner
Last Updated: 18/03/12 8:08am
Piet van Zyl scored a superb try in injury time as the Cheetahs snatched a 33-26 victory over the Melbourne Rebels.
The Rebels had led 26-23 with 16 minutes left but the Cheetahs bounced back from their last-minute defeat to the Brumbies to record their first win of the season.
James O'Connor had weighed in with 21 points for the Rebels, with Adam Freier also crossing for a try as the Rebels overcame a 20-10 half-time deficit.
However Willie le Roux scored two tries and Johan Goosen landed 18 points, before replacement scrum-half van Zyl finished off good work from the visitors at the death.
Le Roux had crossed for the opening score in just the second minute, with Goosen converting, only for the Rebels to hit back.
A textbook catch and drive from a line-out work saw Freier claim the try - with O'Connor levelling the scores with the extras.
However, O'Connor's loose pass was snaffled by le Roux for the winger to double his tally - with Goosen adding the conversion and two penalties.
The Rebels had the last word of the first half through the boot of O'Connor - and having rung the changes - the home side hit back after the interval.
O'Connor added another penalty before converting his own try, having stepped through two would-be tacklers to level the scores.
The kickers then took centre stage as Goosen and O'Connor traded two penalties each, with the game seemingly heading towards a draw.
However van Zyl was hero for the Cheetahs as he popped up to score the winning try after good initial work from Adriaan Strauss and Ashley Johnson. Goosen rubbed salt into the wounds with the conversion.