Super Rugby: Cheetahs see off Rebels for a fourth straight success
Last Updated: 30/03/13 7:08pm
The Cheetahs continued their rise up the Super Rugby standings with a 34-16 success over the Melbourne Rebels on the back of a dominant second-half showing.
The South African side lost their opening two games of the season but have bounced back in superb fashion with three wins on their Australasian leg being followed up by Saturday's bonus-point triumph in Bloemfontein.
Hennie Daniller, Raymond Rhule, Willie Le Roux, Johan Sadie and Ryno Benjamin scored the Cheetahs' tries - four of which came during a one-sided second half - with Burton Francis adding the rest of the points with three conversions and a penalty.
The Rebels trailed 10-6 at the interval at Free State Stadium but were swept aside by their hosts before claiming a late consolation try through Caydern Neville.
That was converted by Australia international James O'Connor, who finished with a haul of 11 points with the boot, but it was little comfort to the Melbourne outfit, who have now lost five of their six matches this season.
The Rebels actually led 6-3 after half-an-hour of today's clash with two O'Connor penalties cancelling out Francis' early three-pointer for the hosts.
However, the Cheetahs reclaimed their lead after fashioning the opening try of the game just before the interval, scored by Daniller following a turnover, and they never trailed again.
Francis added the conversion to make it 10-6 at half-time, and he also knocked over the extras when Rhule charged over for the Cheetahs' second try in the 51st minute following good work by Robert Ebersohn.
O'Connor reduced the gap by three with another penalty in the 57th minute but it did little to halt the Cheetahs' momentum and they collected a third try six minutes later through Le Roux.
Francis was unable to convert that score but it mattered little as he helped the hosts to a fourth try in the 66th minute, sending Sadie in for the bonus-point score, which the fly-half also converted to make it 29-9.
The Cheetahs were not finished there though and crossed for a fifth time in the closing stages through Benjamin before the beaten Rebels responded with their late converted try from Neville.