The Cheetahs secured a convincing 45-21 victory over the Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in PRO14 action in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Tries from Clayton Blommetjies, Shaun Venter, Jacques du Toit and a Nico Lee hat-trick proved too much for the Kings, who scored through Yaw Penxe and Stephan Coetzee.
Blommetjies gave the Cheetahs an early 5-0 minute lead with a good try as he sold a few dummies to bamboozle the Kings defence and run unopposed through a gaping hole in the defence all the way to the try-line.
Soon after, the Kings had a response when Penxe cleverly sneaked in down the blindside. Oliver Zono restored scoreline parity with the conversion.
Zeilinga added a penalty before the Cheetahs had their second in the 20th minute when Lee burst over from close range as he ran a good line after a period of sustained pressure from the visitors. Zeilinga's extras made the scoreline read 17-7 with the Cheetahs in the driving seat.
Scrum-half Venter then extended the lead going on his own from the back of a five-metre attacking scrum, showing good upper body strength to dot down. Zeilinga's conversion ensured the Cheetahs held a 24-7 lead as the sides went into the interval.
Two minutes into the second-half, Lee grabbed his brace when Venter dislodged the ball with a good tackle and the ball was regathered by Makazole Mapimpi who did excellently to find Lee on the overlap out on the left wing to complete the finish. Zeilinga maintained his one hundred percent kicking record, the conversion making it 31-7.
The Kings then enjoyed a period of sustained pressure and referee Stuart Berry finally ran out of patience with the Cheetahs for their cynical tactics in slowing the ball down when Justin Basson was sin-binned.
The Kings immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage when Bredenkamp forced his way over from close range after the Kings took the ball up well around close quarters.
Soon, the Kings had another try from an attacking lineout driving maul with Coetzee emerging with the ball from the pile of bodies for which Junior Pokomela was yellow carded and the Cheetahs reduced to 13 men. With a 10-point lead and 10 minutes to go, the Cheetahs were hoping to hold out with two less men.
But any hopes of a Kings comeback were dashed when Lee grabbed his hat-trick running an excellent line once again. Zeilinga made it five conversions from five.
The last laugh was had by the Cheetahs when they employed the rolling maul successfully despite the numerical disadvantage as replacement hooker Du Toit went over for the Cheetahs. Zeilinga completed the match with a perfect record as the Cheetahs ran out 45-21 winners.
Tries: Penxe, Bredenkamp, Coetzee
Cons: Zono 3
Tries: Blommetjies, Lee 3, Venter, Du Toit
Cons: Zeilinga 6
Yellow Cards: Basson, Pokomela
Kings: 15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Martin du Toit, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Oliver Zono, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Eital Bredenkamp, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Schalk Ferreira (c)
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa, 23 Harlon Klaasen
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Niel Marais, 11 Makazola Mapimpi, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Zee Mkhabela, 23 AJ Coertzen
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)