The Cheetahs routed the Pumas at Free State Stadium in their Super Rugby Unlocked opener on Saturday, winning 53-31 to begin their campaign on a flyer on Saturday.
The hosts put on a ruthless display in the first half, dotting down six times to race to a 41-3 lead.
Cheetahs 53-31 Pumas: Super Rugby Unlocked match report
The first man to cross over was winger Malcolm Jaer, who dotted over after fine interplay from Bernard Janse van Rensburg and Clayton Blommetjies.
Captain Ruan Pienaar added the extra two, but it wasn’t long before the Pumas cut the deficit down to four after Eddie Fouche slotted over a penalty from the touchline.
That would be the last time the Pumas would manage to add to their first-half tally, with Pienaar, Junior Pokomela and Rosko Specman all dotting down to give the Cheetahs comfortable 27-3 lead.
This was before the Sevens star added more misery the way of the Pumas, scoring his second on the night as he left Devon Williams in his dust after the two went one-on-one.
Jaer, who opened the scoring, ended the first half as he started it, completing his brace to make it 41-3.
The Pumas displayed a never-say-die attitude early in the second half, as they were first off the blocks, with Ginter Smuts dotting down on the far-right corner. Fouche was on the money from the touchline, reducing the gap to 31 points.
Despite the visitors’ best passage of play, the next score came the way of the visitors, with Janse van Rensburg and Blommetjies combining once more to send Jaer down for his third on the day.
The Pumas responded through Daniel Maartens, triggering an impressive comeback which saw them rally back to reduce the deficit to 22 points at the stroke of full-time.