The Cheetahs won their fourth consecutive Super Rugby match when they beat the Melbourne Rebels 34-16 with a bonus point in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Cheetahs have played the Melbourne Rebels three times and have won all three matches.
The Cheetahs outscored the Rebels by five tries to one in the match and the result moves them provisionally into fifth place in the standings.
The Free State outfit, who followed their three wins abroad with a stellar performance against the Rebels, started with some good attacking play and put the visitors under pressure early on.
Replacement flyhalf Burton Francis, coming in for the injured Riaan Smit shortly before kick-off, had the visitors turing around with every tactical kick.
In pouring rain, the Cheetahs took no unnecessary chances and opted for shots at goal rather than attacking line outs when awarded penalties.
Francis got the hosts on the board in the 15th minute via his kicking boot after the Rebels infringed at the breakdown.
The tourists put in some good hits on defence early on but struggled to captalise on the possession they earned.
In contrast, Francis' penalty inspired his team to start running with the ball, even though the poor conditions led to numerous handling errors.
Rebels fullback James O'Connor finally got his side on the board, kicking a penalty in the 22nd minute. It was some reward for the visitors in a game that lacked intensity in the first 20 minutes.
O'Connor added another three points shortly thereafter and the Rebels seemed to rise from their slumber.
The Melbourne side started playing with more gusto and in turn put the Cheetahs under pressure on their own goal line.
The hosts, however, did well on defence and snubbed the Rebels of any five pointers.
Keeping the ball in hand, the Cheetahs moved it down the back line and found space on the outside. Centre Johann Sadie broke the defence and offloaded to fullback Hennie Daniller, who went over in the corner for a converted try.
That put the Cheetahs in the driving seat with a 10-6 advantage at half-time.
The home side started the second half at a frantic pace and winger Raymond Rhule scored in the 52nd minute, with the Rebels left floundering on defence. Rhule pounced on a hand-off by centre Robert Ebersohn and ran through for a try under the uprights.
That inspired the hosts to go for the bonus point, which they achieved after winger Willie le Roux and Sadie scored in succession.
Replacement winger Rayno Benjamin then went over in the corner to put the result beyond doubt, with Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville adding a converted five-pointer near the end to soften the blow.
Final Score Cheetahs 34 (10) Rebels 16 (6)
Tries - H Daniller, R. Rhule, W. Le Roux, J Sadie, R Benjamin
Pen - B.Francis
Con - B.Francis 3
Tries - C.Neville
Pen - J.O'Connor 3
Con - J.O'Connor
Cards - L.Jones (67th min)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 2:Stefan Breytenbach
TMO : Johan Greeff
Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Johan Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Burton Francis, Sarel Pretorius, Phillip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Heinrich Brussow, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Coenie Oosthuisen, Rynhard Landman, Boom Prinsloo, Piet van Zyl, Adriaanse, Ryno Benjamin.
1 Nic Henderson, 2 Ged Robinson, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 4 Hugh Pyle, 5 Luke Jones, 6 Gareth Delve, 7 Jordy Reid, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 9 Nick Phipps, 10 Angus Roberts, 11 Jason Woodward, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Mitch Inman, 14 Richard Kingi, 15 James O'Connor
Replacements :16 Shota Horie, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Rory Sidey, 23 Tom English