The Vodacom Cheetahs secured a comfortable 27-9 win over Vodacom Stormers in a Super 14 first round match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The match remained scoreless until the 39th minute, but the home side deservedly claimed the spoils with a strong second half display which produced two tries and 22 points.
Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss scored the only points of the first half with a try, Springbok prop CJ van der Linde and flanker Kabamba Floors scored second half tries and centre Meyer Bosman landed four penalties.
Vodacom Stormers flyhalf Naas Olivier slotted three penalties in the second half.
The home team had chances to lead early on but flyhalf Herkie Kruger missed two penalty attempts, prompting skipper Juan Smith to hand the kicking duties to Bosman.
After an error-strewn opening half hour, Strauss broke the deadlock with a simple run-in a minute before halftime.
It was the culmination of a seven-minute period of sustained Cheetahs pressure on the Stormers’ tryline, which saw the television match official (TMO) being called for three times in the space of four minutes prior to the try.
Wing Phillip Burger had the ball ripped from his grasp as he stretched for the line. From the ensuing scrum Stormers number eight Joe van Niekerk knocked the ball from Kruger’s grasp as he dived for the line.
Cheetahs number eight Rayno van der Merwe was held up over the line a minute later from a lineout drive. The TMO was unable to ascertain whether he grounded the ball, but the defensive effort took its toll on the Stormers, who wilted in the second half.
Vodacom Cheetahs – Tries: Adriaan Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Kabamba Floors. Penalties: Meyer Bosman (4).
Vodacom Stormers – Penalties: Naas Olivier (3)