The Cheetahs used all their speed and agility in the first half against the Cardiff Blues on Saturday to overpower the visitors 21-10 in their PRO14 clash at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.
The home side had not won a match before this encounter, but played like a team hungry for success.
The fact that the Blues were without nine of their top players made things a bit easier for the Cheetahs.
Tries by scrumhalf Shaun Venter and left wing Sibahle Maxwane within the first 11 minutes set the ball rolling for the South African side.
Flyhalf Tian Schoeman converted both tries to put the home side in a commanding 14-0 lead.
The Blues got on the scoreboard with a penalty by flyhalf Steve Shingler (14-3), but the Cheetahs hit back just before halftime, with speedster Maxwane sprinting more than 70 metres to score his second try after good work from Venter.
Schoeman was once again on hand with the conversion (21-3).
With the Cheetahs piling on the pressure, the Blues made just too many handling errors. There was absolutely no momentum in the Welsh side’s play.
The Cheetahs were full of running and continued with this approach in the second half, with fullback Malcolm Jaer coming close to scoring in the 44th minute.
The speedy Jaer did manage to cross the Blues’ line in the 50th minute, but was ruled offside by the TMO.
Blues fullback Matthew Morgan looked dangerous whenever he was in possession, but did not always have the support of his teammates.
The visitors struggled to get going, although they had enough possession in the second stanza to trouble the Cheetahs.
Replacement forward Samu Manoa charged down a Schoeman kick in the 65th minute to score the Blues’ only try.
That was, however, the only work that the score-keepers had in the second half.
The Cheetahs, who are still last on the league table, have played most of their matches away from home thus far, but now have the opportunity to play catch-up with a host of games in Bloemfontein.
Cheetahs 21 – Tries: Shaun Venter, Sibahle Maxwane (2). Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3).
Cardiff Blues 10 – Try: Samu Manoa. Conversion: Steve Shingler. Penalty: Shingler (1).
African News Agency (ANA)