Cape Town - The Cheetahs conceded two tries while they were reduced to 13 men as they lost 27-21 to Benetton Treviso in the PRO14 on Saturday.
The defeat sees the Cheetahs stay in 3rd place in Conference A and in a play-off position. They have now won six of their 11 matches since joining the tournament at the start of the season.
Coach Rory Duncan's men relied on three Fred Zeilinga penalties to give them a 9-5 lead going into the break as Marty Ioane scored for the hosts.
Benetton flyhalf Marty Banks then closed the gap with a penalty, but when Oupa Mohoje scored and Zeilinga converted the Cheetahs had opened up a 16-8 lead.
But two yellow cards in as many minutes, to Torsten van Jaarsveld and Shaun Venter, saw the Cheetahs reduced to 13 men.
It didn't take Benetton long to capitalise, and the had their second try through Epalahame Faiva on 60 minutes.
The hosts took the lead soon over through Federico Ruzza, and when Banks converted they had a 20-16 lead.
Despite the Cheetahs having 15 players back on the field, the killer blow came on 70 minutes when Benetton got their fourth, and the bonus point try, through Faiva's second to put the game to bed.
The Cheetahs hit back with a late try through Mohoje to secure a bonus point, but it was too little too late.
Tries: Marty Ioane, Epalahame Faiva (2), Federic Ruzza
Conversions: Marty Banks (2)
Tries: Oupa Mohoje (2)
Conversion: Fred Zeilinga
Penalties: Zeilinga (3)