Pumas kept try-less
The Cheetahs finally hit their stride, after a couple of pre-season wobbles.
The men from Bloemfontein recorded a comfortable 31-6 win over the Pumas in their final Super Rugby warm-up match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Cheetahs, who looked way off their 2013 pace in earlier matches against the Shimlas and Southern Kings, produced a much-improved defensive effort to prevent the visitors from crossing their tryline.
The Pumas' only points came from two penalties via the boot of JC Roos.
Both came in the first half for the visitors, with all their other attacks muffled by the home side.
A try by loose forward Jean Cook, along with a conversion and penalty from Johan Goosen, gave the Cheetahs a half-time lead of 10-6 - not a true reflection of the home team's dominance of the possession.
After half-time the hosts regrouped and a much better attacking display emerged - with two tries by Johannes Prinsloo and a penalty try as their reward.
Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane came on from the replacement bench after Caylib Oosthuizen got the nod ahead of him in the starting line-up.
With the latter, the Cheetahs struggled in the scrums, but Nyakane's presence bolstered the hosts and even led to a penalty try for his team seven minutes from full-time.
New Cheetahs scrumhalf Shaun Venter had a good run, but stalwart Sarel Pretorius showed in the second half he would not be easily booted out of the starting line-up.
Pretorius combined well with Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen as the Cheetahs put together a good performance.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Cook, Prinsloo 2, Penalty try
Cons: Goosen 3, watts
For the Pumas:
Pens: Roos 2
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagné, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements - from: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Rynhardt Landman, Johannes Prinsloo, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Rayno Benjamin, Riaan Smit, Maks van Dyk.
Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Dewald Pretorius, 11 Deon Scholtz, 10 JC Roos, 9 Sinovuyo Nyoka, 8 RW Kember, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Drew van Coller, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Sabelo Nhlapo.
Replacements - from: Dee-Jay Terblanche, Stephan Kotzé, Christo le Roux, Uzair Cassiem, Jaco Bouwer, Reynier van Rooyen, Justin van Staden, Ashwin Scott.
Referee: Lesego Legoete