James O'Connor of the Rebels during the Super Rugby match between Toyota Cheetahs and Melbourne Rebels at Free State Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
James O'Connor of the Rebels during the Super Rugby match between Toyota Cheetahs and Melbourne Rebels at Free State Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Loren Battersby / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Rebels suffer another loss after going down to Cheetahs

THE Cheetahs inflicted more misery on the struggling Melbourne Rebels after sending the tourists crashing to a fifth successive Super Rugby loss for the season in Bloemfontein.

The South Africans secured their fourth consecutive victory after running in four tries in 21 second-half minutes before finally winning 34-16.

The result meant the Rebels ended their tour of the Republic having conceded 15 tries and 101 points in only two games - they also made the unwanted headlines following the fight between Wallabies Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna on the team bus last week.

Although the Rebels came away empty-handed against the Cheetahs, captain Gareth Delve said the performance was a vast improvement on their record 64-7 thrashing by the Sharks in Durban a week earlier.

"It was a big improvement on last week and for 60 minutes or so we were right in it," Delve said.

"To leak a couple of tries late was disappointing, but I can't fault the effort from the lads, it was a big step up from last week."

The Rebels travel to Perth to face the Western Force this Saturday, the team they beat in round one.

Vuna will be available for the game, but Beale, who was guilty of punching both Vuna and Delve, remains suspended indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders came from 11-0 down to beat the Stormers 19-14 in Cape Town.

The boot of Crusaders five-eighth Tyler Bleyendaal proved the difference in the one-try apiece clash with the No.10 kicking 14 points with a conversion and four penalty goals.

Bleyendaal was filling in for All Black star Dan Carter, who stayed in New Zealand for the birth of his first child.


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