Cardiff Blues come from behind to beat Cheetahs

Lloyd Williams of Cardiff Blues dives over for a late try against the Cheetahs Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Cardiff Blues came from 11 points down with just 20 minutes left in the match to emerge victorious for a second successive week in the PRO14 and keep South Africa's Cheetahs winless after a narrow 24-21 triumph at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

The Blues rallied with late tries from Lloyd Williams and Olly Robinson to turn around the deficit as the Cheetahs paid the price for an error-ridden performance.

Both sides scored three tries in the contest with Gareth Anscombe proving the difference, as he added nine points with his boot.

The South African visitors, who were 10-7 behind at half-time, have not won any of their opening five games of the new season and sit bottom of the Conference A standings.

They tired dramatically in the closing stages to allow Cardiff to come back and win a second successive game after an impressive bonus-point triumph over Munster in their last outing.

Friday's first half was marked by poor skills on both sides and missed opportunities with both Tiaan Schoeman for the Cheetahs and Anscombe missing penalties in the opening 10 minutes.

The Cheetahs were first to score in the 19th minute when scrappy defence saw the ball spurt back lose over Cardiff line and the lock Walt Steenkamp pounced first for the visitors.

But eight minutes later, a mistake by Cheetahs fullback Ryno Eksteen saw the ball slip out of his hand and allow Rey Lee-Lo to cross over for the hosts, although he looked to knock it on before gathering up the loose ball. But the TMO saw it otherwise in the first of two controversial calls in the game.

After the break, the Cheetahs scored twice in the space of nine minutes.

But the first effort from Rabs Maxwane was far from convincing and he looked to have failed to apply downward pressure on the ball as he chased a little through a grubber but again the TMO saw it otherwise.

There was also a hint of a forward pass when Bernard Janse van Rensburg took a pop pass to straighten the line and sprint over to give the whistle a decent cushion with almost an hour gone.

But then Cardiff took over to engineer their comeback and they might have got another try near the end before running out of time.

Cardiff are next away at the Dragons at Rodney Parade before traveling to Bloemfontein for a return clash with the Cheetahs on October 27.

The Cheetahs stay on in Britain and move north to meet Edinburgh next on Friday.