A red card for number eight Carel Greef helped condemn the Griquas to a fourth successive loss as they went down to the Cheetahs 36-25.
A red card for back-row Carel Greef helped condemn the Griquas to their fourth straight Currie Cup loss as they fell to the Free State Cheetahs 36-25.
Saturday's game saw Greef given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards in the first-half, both for ruck offences in Kimberley.
From then on tries for Rayno Benjamin, Clayton Blommetjies, Tienie Burger and Jean Cook to go with Francois Uys' thirteenth minute effort sealed the five points for the Bloemfontein outfit.
Visiting fly-half Willie du Plessis had given his side an eighth minute lead when a driving maul and phases led to Marnus Schoeman infringing.
Then came Uys' close-range try after scrum-half Sarel Pretorius had set off downfield from an intercept on his own 22, with Greef ultimately handed his first card by referee Jaco van Heerden. Du Plessis could not add the extra two points as his conversion struck the post.
Despite being a man down, the Griquas stood up well with fourteen men as wing PJ Vermeulen in particular impressed with his powerful running down the left touchline.
With Greef now back on though, it was the Cheetahs who had the next opportunity to score but Du Plessis was again off-target from 35 metres out, this time more central to the posts. He would have been hoping that those two misses wouldn't prove to be costly later on.
The reason for relief was that on 35 minutes, number eight Greef was shown his second yellow card following a ruck offence which meant he would play no further part in the game.
And the Cheetahs took no time at all to rub salt into the hosts' wounds as a simple run in for wing Benjamin after sustained pressure made it 15-0 as half-time neared in Kimberley.
Griquas, who managed to convert three points just before the break via the boot of fly-half Dean Grant, would need a Herculean effort after the interval if they were to recover.
And that was what their home faithful were treated to as a Tiaan Meyer try from a charge-down of Du Plessis' attempted clearance – before Martin Bezuidenhout and Vermeulen combined for the former finishing a length of the field score – put the Griquas into the lead.
Fortunately for the Cheetahs they would awake from their slumber as Blommetjies finished well on the left whilst visiting lock Henco Venter was in the sin-bin, with replacement Pieter-Steyn De Wet nailing the extras from wide out to put the Bloemfontein outfit 22-18 ahead.
The momentum had duly swung back into the Free State Cheetahs' favour at this point and when Burger powered over for the bonus-point score before number eight Cook reached out from close-range to make it 36-18 with the two points, the result was beyond doubt.
Ederies Arendse did add a try for the Griquas on 80 minutes but it was to prove only a consolation score as the Cheetahs went home happy with a maximum point haul.
Tries: Meyer, Bezuidenhout, Arendse
Con: Grant 2
Pen: Grant 2
For FS Cheetahs:
Tries: Uys, Benjamin, Blommetjies, Burger, Cook
Con: Du Plessis, De Wet 3
Pen: Du Plessis
Griquas: 15 Francois Brummer, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Ruaan Lerm, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Janro Van Niekerk, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Abraham Griesel, 21 Gideon la Grange, 22 Rocco Jansen.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie Du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Henco Venter, 3 Dolph Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Kevin Stevens.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 George Marich, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn De Wet, 22 JP Du Plessis.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper, Francois de Bruin
TMO: JJ Wagner