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Cheetahs blow out Force
Skipper Strauss scores home side's only try in vital victory
The Cheetahs kept their slim Super 15 finals hopes alive with a scrappy 17-13 win over the Western Force in Bloemfontein.
Skipper Adriaan Strauss scored the home side's only try on 53 minutes and, despite some attritional rugby, they held on to the lead to claim a fourth win of the season.
The Force had threatened an unlikely success when Benson Stanley crossed after a charge down on 46 minutes but Strauss' reply came eight minutes later to ensure the visitors' hope was short-lived.
The Force struggled for creativity throughout, to underline the disappointment of Australia scrum-half Will Genia's decision not to join the club next year, although they hung in the contest thanks to some wayward kicking from Sias Ebersohn.
He traded penalties with Force fly-half David Harvey as the teams remained locked at 6-6 after 34 minutes.
Ebersohn missed chances to extend the lead and Mattheus de Bruyn momentarily took over the kicking duties before the break, slotting home to give his side a deserved 9-6 lead at half-time.
The Cheetahs looked like they might pay for failing to take their chances when the Force crashed over six minutes after the re-start.
Hennie Daniller saw his kick charged down and Stanley raced onto the loose ball. Harvey added the extra points to edge the Force 13-9 ahead.
Their lead did not last long though as Strauss soon went over, after good work from Ebersohn from the scrum.
Ebersohn again failed with his kick but a penalty on 60 minutes gave his side the breathing space they needed to hold off the Force, who made too many errors late on to effectively threaten.