Rugby-Cheetahs down Rebels for fourth straight Super rugby win


Sat, 21 May 19:11:00 2011

The Cheetahs recorded a fourth successive victory in the Super rugby tournament on Saturday with a 41-21 win over Australia's Melbourne Rebels.

Skipper Adriaan Strauss and centre Corne Uys each scored a brace of tries while flyhalf Sias Ebersohn kicked 14 points. The Cheetahs, though, remained in fourth place in the South African conference and out of playoff contention.

The Rebels, the tournament's latest recruits, suffered their 10th loss in 13 games and are bottom of the Australian conference.

"It was more physical than the score suggested," said Strauss. "Everyone's doing their job, from the backline to the front row. We're doing the small things right."

The home side raced into a 14-0 lead inside 20 minutes thanks to tries from Uys and international sevens winger Ryno Benjamin. Both were converted by the in-form Ebersohn, who collected 23 points against the Crusaders last week.

The Rebels opened their account through a try by hooker Ged Robinson from a well-worked lineout move, but Strauss's first try on the stroke of halftime restored the 14-point gap.

Ebersohn turned the screw with two penalties shortly after the restart before veteran Wallabies winger Mark Gerrard gave his team a glimmer of hope with a try on the hour that showed he has lost none of his ability to break tackles.

But Gerrard went from hero to villain three minutes later when he failed to gather a kick ahead by Ebersohn, allowing Benjamin to flick the ball up to Uys to dive in spectacularly at the corner.

Strauss barged over for his second try with 12 minutes to go to put the result beyond doubt, although the match ended on a low note for Benjamin when he was red-carded for headbutting Rebels skipper Stirling Mortlock in the 75th minute.

The infringement, which resulted in Mortlock getting a yellow card a retaliatory punch, produced a consolation penalty try for the visitors when referee Pro Legoete adjudged that prop Greg Somerville would have scored were it not for an early tackle on him by Cheetahs fullback Riaan Viljoen.

"The Cheetahs this year have been playing up-tempo rugby," said Mortlock. "We've got no points from two games (in South Africa) and we've let ourselves down. We didn't hold on to the ball enough."


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