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Super Rugby: Cheetahs beat Stormers 35-22 in Bloemfontein
Cheetahs moved off the foot of the Super Rugby standings with a 35-22 victory over the Stormers at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Hennie Daniller, Ryno Benjamin and Willie le Roux all crossed in the first half, before Cornal Hendricks and Trevor Nyakane made sure of the bonus-point during the second period as the Cheetahs left the Stormers at the bottom of the table.
Nizaam Carr had given the Stormers an early lead but his efforts were soon cancelled out, although the visitors refused to relent as Devon Williams and Jean de Villiers both crossed in a spirited second-half comeback.
After being held up on the line in the opening minute, the Stormers took the lead in the second as Carr crossed under the posts after the visitors recycled possession well from a five-metre scrum.
Peter Grant added the conversion before extending the Stormers advantage to 10 as he slotted home his first penalty of the evening.
The Cheetahs' response was brisk as they charged down a Stormers clearing ball to race home for the opening try.
After two phases of play Le Roux's cross-field kick was collected by Daniller, who caught well to touch down the hosts' first try of the match.
The hosts went on to double their try tally moments later as Heinrich Brussow released Benjamin to charge down the flank and claim a second try, which Elgar Watts was unable to convert.
After a somewhat frenetic start to proceedings, the Cheetahs seized control of possession and drew a penalty out of the Stormers, which Watts easily converted into three points.
The Cheetahs lead was extended ahead of the break as Le Roux spotted a gaping hole in the Stormers defence to dive over the line before Watts added the extras as the hosts scored 20 unanswered points.
Deon Fourie made a strong break for the Stormers but the Cheetahs scramble back to defend before Brussow put an end to the visitors' attack with a flattening tackle.
After missing his first attempt on goal in the second half, Watts bolstered the Cheetahs advantage with his second successful penalty kick.
Stormers refused to lie down as they won a scrum in Cheetahs territory before passing down the line to Williams, who raced over the whitewash.
However, with men committed to attack the Stormers were exposed defensively as Hendricks seized on a loose ball to add a bonus-point try for the hosts, which Watts duly converted.
Nyakane crashed over four minutes from time to add a gloss to only a second Cheetahs victory of the season.
Damian de Allende released De Villiers to score a third Stormers try late on but even with Kurt Coleman's conversion, the visitors still had a 13-point deficit as the klaxon sounded.
A second win of the campaign sees the Cheetahs usurps the Stormers and take 14th place in the Super Rugby standings, leaving Allister Coetzee's side rooted at the foot of the table.Rugby Union Live. Click here to bet.