The hooker, a powerful force with ball in hand, scored a 54th-minute try to give the Cheetahs a 14-13 lead after a charge down and try by centre Winston Stanley had put Force 13-9 ahead shortly after halftime.
The Cheetahs dominated territory and possession and were eager to run at the Force who were let down by ill-discipline.
Flyhalf Sias Ebersohn kicked three penalties and scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn one for the Cheetahs, who gained consolation for their heart-breaking loss last weekend when they surrendered a 30-9 lead to lose 36-33 to the Otago Highlanders.
Force flyhalf Dave Harvey kicked two penalties in the first half but their joy at seeing left wing Samu Wara cross the tryline in the left corner quickly turned to frustration as the score was disallowed due to foul play by prop Salesi Ma’afu who held an opponent in a headlock and slapped him.
Ebersohn, who missed crucial kicks for the Cheetahs last weekend, kicked the resulting penalty and was spot-on again in the 19th and 37th minutes.
The Force took the lead six minutes after halftime when Cheetahs fullback Hennie Daniller took his time over a clearance kick, which was charged down by Stanley who gathered the ball and scored.
But the visitors paid again for their ill-discipline when obstruction by Harvey and dirty play by prop Pek Cowan when he hauled airborne flank Heinrich Brussow out of a lineout led to a penalty close to the tryline for the Cheetahs.
The concerted pressure of the forwards’ driving play eventually led to the space outside for Strauss to score.
The Cheetahs’ final points came after a penalty had been advanced 10 metres after the Force kicked the ball away after the whistle. The extra 10 metres brought the kick into range for Ebersohn who succeeded from the halfway line.