The Brumbies, not great on execution either, scored the only two tries of the game, one in each half, but with the scorers only worried once in the second half it was not a game that will be remembered for a very long time.
In the second half the Cheetahs only looked vaguely like creating something when they twice got the ball to wing Cornall Hendricks, but poor execution kept them to just three points.
It was the Brumbies’ 11th straight win at home to ensure they stay atop of the Aussie conference with their fifth win in seven starts.
For the Cheetahs, with their scrum also under the cosh, it was their fifth straight defeat and the third of their tour after already going down to the Crusaders and the Chiefs, while more pressure is building on coach Naka Drotske.
It was the Cheetahs first appearance in Canberra since their narrow 15-13 playoff loss in 2013 but the visitors are only a mere shadow of what they achieved back then with not even Springbok fullback Willie le Roux making any impression apart from a few kicks and tackles.
From the kickoff when Cheetahs’flank Boom Prinsloo was unceremoniously knocked on his back from a vicious tackle the visitors had to live from scraps and had to try and play the game in their own half with very little ball.
Leading 13-3 at the break the Brumbies powered their way over in the 46th minute from a ruck from close range by lock Blake Enever, his first Super Rugby try, for their second try to push their lead up to 20-3.
It took the Brumbies all of four minutes to get on the scoreboard when Lelia Leali’ifano brushed his way past a poor Joe Pietersen tackle, the Cheetahs flyhalf, to convert himself for a 7-0 lead.
The Cheetahs showed great grit to stay in the game despite being stuck in their own territory, but managed their only points through a penalty by Pietersen in the 16th minute to make it 3-7, only the second time they entered the Brumbies’22 in the opening half.
Being down 10-3 in the 25th minute the Cheetahs forfeited a kickable penalty to go for a lineout drive, but when hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld was stopped from an offside position by counterpart Stephen Moore without being penalised it was a missed opportunity, the Cheetahs only real try-scoring chance in the first half.
Two more penalties by Leali’ifano in the 19th and 40th minutes created a 10-point gap at the break, as the Cheetahs made 54 to 20 tackles in the first half, missing 15 against two to paint a bleak picture for the visitors.