A withering closing burst produced a second bonus-point win in as many matches for the reigning Super Rugby champions Chiefs.
In their first home game in Hamilton since beating the Sharks in last year's Final, the Chiefs scored four of their six tries in the closing quarter of the fast-paced spectacle.
However, before travel fatigue began to hit the Cheetahs in their first game after the long flight from South Africa, they had the Chiefs on the back foot.
For most of the first half the Chiefs were furiously defending, and although they managed to lead 10-3 at the turn, they held only 21 percent of territory and were given a stern message at the break by coach Dave Rennie.
"Nothing like a good telling off at half-time," captain Liam Messam said of the second half domination.
"We didn't turn up in the first half and they were beating us at our own game at the breakdowns.
"So we just went back to basics, good clean ball for our backs and we scored at the end of the game.
"They're big boys and something we pride ourselves on is the breakdown so we gave our backs some quick ball."
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