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Speight saves Ulster in thrilling Cheetahs draw

By Nicholas McGee

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Henry Speight’s last-gasp try denied the Cheetahs a first win of the Pro14 campaign as Ulster claimed a thrilling 39-39 draw on Friday.

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The two sides shared nine tries – including one penalty try for the Irish side – in a frenetic encounter in Bloemfontein.

Ulster led 32-29 with seven minutes left as Johnny Stewart’s score was quickly followed by a penalty try – Charles Marais sin-binned for ill-discipline on the home side’s line.

Despite Marais’ absence the 14 men of Cheetahs came roaring back, Rabz Maxwane crossing for a try converted by Louis Fouche, whose subsequent long-range penalty looked to have sealed a triumph.

But Speight had the final say as the clock went past 80 minutes, powering over from the back of a maul, Billy Burns converting as the Conference B leaders avoided a first defeat after three successive wins.

Cardiff Blues’ disappointing start to the season came to an end as they eased past Munster.

The first three games had seen narrow defeats to Leinster, Benetton Treviso and Zebre for Cardiff but they left no doubt against Munster in a 37-13 win.

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They only led 14-13 at the break but scored 23 unanswered points in the second half, Gareth Anscombe kicking 13 of his 17 points after the restart.

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