Strauss: Win was for the fans
Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs have moved away from the bottom of the Super Rugby log after beating a lacklustre Brumbies side 27-21 in their encounter at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts spent most of their time at the bottom of the overall log, but their victory over the second placed Brumbies sees them pass the Stormers and Lions in the South African conference as well as on the overall log.
Although they still can't make the playoffs, the Cheetahs still played for pride and hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss lauded his side for a effort that saw the Bloemfontein faithful get their money's worth.
"We can't make the playoffs any more, but we still play for pride and for our supporters and sponsors," Strauss said.
"This victory was for them. I am proud of the way we came back, specially after losing against the Western Force last week in Bloemfontein."
The Cheetahs previous outing against the Brumbies ended in heart break for the Bloemfontein based side when they lost in the final minutes of the knock out stages in 2013.
On Saturday they played well in the second half, but the Brumbies almost sneaked back to take the spoils.
"It is a good victory for us. In the last moments we had flashbacks of what happened in our game in 2013, losing against the Brumbies after a mistake in the scrum," Strauss said.
"Luckily we kept our cool and managed to pull this one through. We played for one another, but in the end it was our ability to look after the ball and to keep it tight when it mattered that gave the result.
"Our kicking game was also spot on. That is what you need to close down games like these and luckily we managed to do so."
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen afterwards admitted that his side was beaten by a better Cheetahs side on the day.
"We were beaten by a very good Cheetahs side. I don't think their place on the log is a fair reflection of their ability on the field," Mowen said.
"We did not get the start we were looking for mainly because the Cheetahs came out and disrupted our structures. They took advantage of the early penalties we gave away.
"Once you lose that early momentum, it is difficult to get it back. That was our main problem."
The Canberra based side have yet another tough South African nut to crack when they face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria next weekend.