Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Cheetahs search for away win in Connacht

Avatar Joe Leavey 25 Oct 2019

The Guinness PRO14 returns this weekend, and with that, the Toyota Cheetahs face their first test on the road this season.

Top of the Conference A standings with a perfect 15 points, and ahead of Leinster by virtue of their huge points difference, coach Hawies Fourie has made four changes to the XV that beat Munster before the break.

Aranos Coetzee slots straight back in at prop after his return from World Cup duties with Namibia, while Jasper Wiese comes in at No. 8, Dries Swanepoel comes in at centre and Clayton Blommetjies gets the nod out wide.

While their scintillating form thus far has seen the Cheetahs run in 22 tries and 151 points from just three games, Connacht will hope that Irish conditions can work on their favour at the Sportsground.

Andy Friend has likewise opted for a quartet of changes for the hosts, who are similarly sitting pretty in Conference B, second behind the Scarlets ahead of the weekend’s action.

Stephen Fitzgerald comes in at fullback, with Niyi Adeolokun and John Porch out wide and Denis Buckley makes his first start of the season at loosehead.

Kick-off:The Sportsground, Galway | 17:15 UK, Saturday 26 October

How to watch:Live on SuperSport, DAZN, TG4 and Premier Sports

Players to watch out for: Stephen Fitzgerald (Connacht) and Rhyno Smith (Toyota Cheetahs)

It looks set to be a tantalising battle between the two fullbacks in Galway, as the new takes on the in-form.

Rhyno Smith has swept all before him thus far this season, notching up five tries – the best in the competition – and leaving plenty of defenders in his wake.

For the hosts, the promising Fitzgerald has big boots to fill, as he comes in for the injured Tiernan O’Halloran, and tough circumstances to do it.

Keys stat:The South Africans have won their last two matches against Irish opponents but have yet to record a victory on a visit to an Irish province in the Championship.

Connacht: Stephen Fitzgerald, Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin, Peter Robb, John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Cillian Gallagher, Caolin Blade, Tom Farrell, Darragh Leader

Toyota Cheetahs: Rhyno Smith, Clayton Blommetjies, Dries Swanepoel, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Anthony Volmink, Tian Schoeman, Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Aranos Coetzee, Sintu Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp, Gerhard Olivier, Junior Pokomela, Jasper Wiese, Ruan Pienaar (c)

Replacements:  Wilmar Arnold, Boan Venter, Luan de Bruin, JP du Preez, Sias Koen, Tian Meyer, George Whitehead, William Small-Smith


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Report: Farrell strikes late as Connacht sink 14-man Cheetahs

Avatar Charlie Bennett 26 Oct 2019

Tom Farrell’s last-gasp try ended Toyota Cheetahs’ unbeaten start to the Guinness PRO14 season in a tense match that included seven tries and a red card in Galway.

The hosts led 14-5 at the break thanks to tries from Niyi Adeolokun and Kieran Marmion but the Cheetahs bit back after the break to go 22-16 ahead.

However, a red card to Cheetahs centre Dries Swanepoel mid-way through the second-half changed the game, and Farrell scored twice to snatch the points.

Key moments

The Cheetahs arrived with a spring in their step and averaging more than 50 points per game, but the Sportsground is a notoriously difficult place to play and Connacht attacked with gusto from the first whistle.

The Cheetahs held on gainfully but the hosts finally broke through to score in the 14th minute when they moved the ball wide to the right.

Fly-half Conor Fitzgerald wrapped around and off-loaded to wing Adeolokun to power through and dot down.

The Cheetahs’ away record since joining the Guinness PRO14 leaves a lot to be desired but this is a different Cheetahs side and one which is likely to be right in the mix come June.

They responded impressively just before the half-hour mark, with Joseph Dweba bulldozing over off the back of a driving maul.

Connacht went back ahead through Marmion’s score but as the sun disappeared, so did Connacht’s fluency and control.

The Cheetahs were excellent in the second-half, with a Ruan Pienaar penalty and Rhyno Smith converted try putting them one point ahead.

Connacht thought they regained the lead when John Porch intercepted the ball on his own tryline before sprinting 100 metres to dot down, only for it be brought back for offside.

That looked like being the key moment, as the Cheetahs regained the ball inside the Connacht five-metre line and crossed through Clayton Blommetjies.

However, Swanepoel’s red card for a headbutt transformed the game and replacement Farrell powered over from just a metre out to reduce the gap.

The Cheetahs dug deep and resisted for as long as they could but Connacht gained field position on the five-metre line, drew defenders to the breakdown and then moved right for Farrell to dot down.

Man of the match

There are a lot of contenders here but the gong ultimately goes to Connacht wing Niyi Adeolokun, who was a menace in attack and solid in defence.

The powerful wide man took his try brilliantly and is surely going to fill his boots this season.

Play of the day

With the match on the line and a cauldron of noise emanating from the stands, it is hard to keep cool – but Connacht did just that with the play that won the game.

The Cheetahs were doing their best to hold on but, faced with a five-metre scrum, could do nothing to disrupt Connacht’s precision.

They secured the ball, fed the forwards through several phases and then flung the ball wide for Farrell to score.


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138