Pro14: Cheetahs beat Cardiff Blues 21-10 for first win of season
|Guinness Pro14: Cheetahs v Cardiff Blues|
|Cheetahs (21) 21|
|Tries: Venter, Maxwane 2 Cons: Schoeman 3|
|Cardiff Blues (3) 10|
|Tries: Manoa Con: Shingler Pens: Shingler|
South African side Cheetahs secured their first Pro14 win of the season as they proved too strong with a 21-10 win over Cardiff Blues in Bloemfontein.
All the hosts' points came in the opening period with three converted tries.
Scrum-half Shaun Venter led the way early on and wing Sibhale Maxwane used his pace to good effect for a thrilling brace.
Blues' summer forward signing Samu Manoa's try came too late.
Visiting boss John Mulvihill had made nine changes with Seb Davies back from injury at number eight alongside returning lock Rory Thornton, while Brad Thyer, Ethan Lewis and Scott Andrews formed a new front row.
Steve Shingler made his first appearance of the season, partnering Lloyd Williams at half-back.
Garyn Smith and Matthew Morgan were also recalled behind the scrum with several Blues unavailable due to international selection.
But unlike Scarlets and Ospreys, who overcame their own depleted resources to beat Southern Kings and Connacht the previous night, Blues found Cheetahs too big a hurdle to join Dragons as Welsh rugby's beaten teams this weekend.
Venter exposed lax breakdown defence by the visitors to dart over unopposed from 40 metres out.
Maxwane ended a frantic passage which began with Lloyd Williams intercepting only for the home wing to take revenge with an intercept of his own before kicking ahead and winning the race to the line.
The next try was even more galling for the visitors.
They lost the ball at an attacking maul five metres from the hosts' line and Maxwane was on hand to take the final pass more than 60m out.
Ten minutes after coming on as a replacement, powerful back-row recruit Manoa followed up his charge down to give Blues hope as Shingler converted.
But it proved too, little too late for the visitors.
Cheetahs: M Jaer; R Smith, BJ van Rensburg, W Small-Smith, S Maxwane; T Schoeman, S Venter; O Nche, J Dweba, A Coetzee, W Steenkamp, JP du Preez. G Olivier, J Pokamela, N Jordaan.
Replacements: R Venter, C Marais, E de Jager, S Manjezi, A Nonkontwana, T Meyer, L Fouche, N Lee.
Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; J Harries, G Smith, R Lee-Lo, A Summerhill; S Shingler, L Williams; B Thyer, E Lewis, S Andrews, G Earle, R Thornton, J Turnbull, O Robinson, S Davies.
Replacements: L Belcher, R Gill, K Assiratti, S Manoa, N Williams, L Jones, D Fish, W Halaholo.
Referee: Lloyd Linton (SRU)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (SARU), Ruhan Meiring (SARU)
TMO: Johann Greeffe (SARU)