The Free State Cheetahs bounced back from last week's loss to the Sharks by beating the Griquas 36-25 at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.
The visitors scored five tries and bagged a bonus point in the process by making use of their chances and capitalising after Griquas lost a player to a red card for repeated infringements in the breakdown area.
Both the Cheetahs and Griquas started at pace, showing every intention of playing running rugby.
It was the Cheetahs who coped better with the pressure and they put the first points on the scoreboard, with flyhalf Willie du Plessis goaling a penalty in the eighth minute.
It was not long before the Cheetahs struck again with lock Francois Uys scoring from the back of a ruck after the visitors had put Griquas under immense pressure. And to add insult to injury, Griquas' eighthman Carel Greeff was yellow-carded for a professional foul.
The Cheetahs controlled most of the possession in the first half and managed to convert some of it into points. Winger Rayno Benjamin rounded off several good phases by the visitors to score, with Du Plessis converting to give the Cheetahs a 15-0 lead.
This, however, was not the end of Griquas' woes. Copping his second yellow card of the game for a professional foul, Greeff was red-carded, leaving the hosts with 14 men on the park.
Griquas did their best with the deficit, and flyhalf Dean Grant succeeded with a penalty shortly before half-time. The Cheetahs led 15-3 at the interval.
The Griquas' players must have endured a real tongue-lashing from coach Hawies Fourie at the break because they showed more eagerness from the kick-off.
This produced much-needed points as scrumhalf Tian Meyer scored for the home side after charging down a clearance kick. Grant missed with the conversion, but he succeeded with a penalty shortly afterwards to leave the hosts trailing by just four points (15-11).
Sparked by Meyer's try, Griquas finally took the lead with another good try by hooker Martin Bezuidenhout, but the Cheetahs regained the advantage soon afterwards via a try by fullback Clayton Blommetjies.
They sealed the result when flanker Tienie Burger scored his first try in Currie Cup rugby to give the visitors the bonus point.
A late try by Cheetahs' eighthman Jean Cook just rubbed salt into the home side's wounds.
Final Score Free State Cheetahs 36 (15) Griquas 25 (3)
Tries: Tian Meyer, Martin Bezuidenhout, Ederies Arendse
Conversions: Dean Grant (2)
Penalty: Dean Grant
Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Francois Uys, Rayno Benjamin, Clayton Blommetjies, Tienie Burger, Jean Cook
Conversions: Willie du Plessis, Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3)
Penalty: Willie du Plessis
Francois Brummer, Ederies Arendse, Jonathan Francke, Wayne Stevens (captain), PJ Vermeulen, Dean Grant, Tian Meyer, Carel Greeff, Ruan Lerm, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Jonathan Adendorf, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Martin Bezuidenhout, Steph Roberts.
Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Janro van Niekerk, Hugo Kloppers, Burger Schoeman, Abrie Griesel, Doppies la Grange, Rocco Jansen.
Free State Cheetahs
Clayton Blommetjies, Rayno Benjamin, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Jean Cook, Neil Claassen, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Henco Venter, Rudolph Botha, Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), Kevin Stevens.
Replacements: AJ le Roux, George Marich, Waltie Vermeulen, Vincent Jobo, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, JP du Plessis.