The Free State squad started the match on a positive note and played their traditional expansive brand of rugby which allowed lock Reniel Hugo to score two tries before the half-time break.
While struggling to gain momentum due to the fact that they fielded many untested combinations, the Bulls had to settle for three first-half points via the boot of Tian Schoeman.
Leading 14-3 at the break, the Cheetahs pulled away from the Bulls shortly after the interval when they were awarded a penalty try after the men from Pretoria committed a breakdown infringement.
The Bulls again relied on Schoeman to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the second half and the flyhalf did not disappoint as he added a converted try to his first-half penalty.
To seal the deal for the Cheetahs, they were awarded their second penalty try of the match – this time because of repeated scrum infringements by their opponents.
Although it is still early days in the season, the inefficiencies at scrum time should be a matter of big concern for the Bulls who have become weak at this facet of play, which ironically used to be one of their traditional strengths.
Cheetahs flank Paul Schoeman won the Man-of-the-Match award for his outstanding play throughout the contest.
After the match, Cheetahs coach Franco Smith refused to read much into the game, but instead hailed the organisers of the event for giving his team the platform to prepare for the upcoming season.
Bulls 10 (3): Tries: Tian Schoeman. Conversion: Schoeman. Penalty: Schoeman
Cheetahs 28 (14): Tries: Reniel Hugo (2), Penalty try (2). Conversions: Niel Marais (4)
Original source: Cheetahs beat Bulls in Zim hit-out