The Vodacom Cheetahs crushed the Valke 66-9 in the Absa Currie Cup on Friday night after leading 28-9 at the break.
The defending champions scored 10 unanswered tries to give the home side a serious reality check following their Vodacom Cup success.
The Valke competed well for the opening 15 minutes, before Free State flyhalf Willem de Waal chipped into the deadball area and Valke scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius knocked it backwards into the hands of De Waal.
Flanker Darren Nell scored the Cheetahs second try when captain Hendro Scholtz sucked in two defenders. Scrumhalf Michael Claassens then went over on the half-hour mark, and De Waal grabbed the bonus point when he scored from a 5m scrum seconds before the break.
Only two penalties and a drop goal from flyhalf Louis Strydom gave the small crowd something to cheer about, and considering De Waal missed three out of four conversion attempts, the Valke were lucky to trail by only 19 points at half-time.
The Cheetahs struck immediately after the restart when slick interplay between forwards and backs resulted in a try for centre JW Jonker. De Waal’s cocky drop-goal conversion went wide and the champions led 33-9.
Two tries in two minutes from winger Giscard Pieters made it 47-9, before second-rower Rory Duncan brought up the half century with his side’s eighth try.
Pieters then claimed his hat-trick, before replacement Philip Burger scored after the full-time hooter to cap off a comprehensive victory.
Valke - Penalties: Louis Strydom (2). Drop goal: Strydom.
Cheetahs - Tries: Willem de Waal (2), Darren Nell, Michael Claassens, JW Jonker, Giscard Pieters (3), Philip Burger. Conversions: De Waal (4), Meyer Bosman. Penalties: De Waal (2).