Cheetahs hold off Brumbies
Sias Ebersohn kicked 21 points as the Cheetahs shaded the Brumbies in a thrilling contest.
Last Updated: 29/04/11 8:25pm
The Cheetahs and Brumbies ran in tries almost at will but it was Sias Ebersohn's 21 points with the boot that secured victory for the South African hosts.
The Cheetahs got off to the perfect start with a first-minute drop goal from Riaan Viljoen, before they won the ball in a fifth-minute line out and scored the opening try through Coenie Oosthuizen.
Ebersohn failed with the conversion, but was on target three minutes later after Sarel Pretorius followed up a Robert Ebersohn break to score a second try.
The Brumbies had barely touched the ball and found themselves further behind after 10 minutes when WP Nel burst through for a third score, with Ebersohn again adding the extras.
Viljoen kept the scoreboard ticking over with a 19th-minute drop goal, before the Brumbies finally got going, with Francis Fainifo bursting clear to score their first try.
Mitt Giteau added the two points and the Brumbies began to look dangerous, with Fainifo going close again, before Ashley Johnson broke at the other end and played in Pretorius for a bonus point-clinching fourth try.
Ebersohn converted again, but Ben Alexander quickly replied for the Brumbies and Giteau added the conversion.
Michael Hooper burst through with seven minutes of the first half remaining to narrow the scoreline further, before Adam Ashley-Cooper reached out from close to the line to secure his side's bonus point with a fourth try before the break.
Ebersohn nailed a halfway line penalty moments after the re-start to extend his side's lead to 35-26.
A penalty conceded at the scrum by Alexander allowed Ebersohn another shot at goal, with this one hitting the posts, before he landed one from a similar distance shortly after.
Alexander then drew a penalty after breaking through, allowing Giteau to edge his side to within two scores, before Ebersohn wiped it out after Christian Lealiifano was sin-binned for lifting Ashley Johnson in the tackle.
Robbie Coleman raced in for a short-handed score, with Giteau adding a touchline conversion to once again cut the gap.
But Ebersohn added two quick penalties and the Chetahs were able to hold on for the win.