Vodacom Super Rugby
Cheetahs defence praised
Bloemfontein - Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss praised his players' defensive ability after they crushed the Lions 26-5 in their Super Rugby clash here on Saturday.
"We pride ourselves in our defence," said Strauss.
"It is something we work very hard at and against the Lions it paid off," said Strauss.
"We are very pleased that we could achieve the victory at home.
"We owed the Cheetahs fans a good performance and that is what we gave."
The Lions were left trailing at the bottom of the Super Rugby standings, while the Cheetahs picked up their third win of the campaign to settle in 11th position.
The visitors were out of their depth, and though they managed to score a try through flanker Cobus Grobbelaar, the brief form of relief came only in the 65th minute of the game.
The home side's attacking play produced some entertaining running rugby, and while they missed out on a number of opportunities to bury the Lions further, they looked like a side that gained valuable experience on their overseas tour.
The hosts were better than the Lions at scrum time, they made more turnovers and their defence had the visitors up in arms for the best part of 80 minutes.
"The Cheetahs simply outplayed us," admitted Lions captain Josh Strauss.
At half-time the hosts held a comfortable lead, thanks to a brace of tries by centre Robert Ebersohn and the kicking boot of flyhalf Johan Goosen.
The Lions were smothered by the Cheetahs' sound defensive structures, and while Grobbelaar's try was impressive, it did little to give the Lions hope of a possible victory.
While the Lions will look to regroup ahead of their derby clash against the Bulls in the next round, the Cheetahs will be gunning for a third successive win in another home match against the Chiefs.
"At the beginning we made a lot of unforced errors and we also kicked away too much possession," said Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske.
"But we're happy with the result and now we're looking ahead to the game against the Chiefs."