The Golden Lions registered a convincing 49-11 win over Griquas in their Currie Cup clash at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.
The visitors dominated from the outset, and sealed the win in the first half when they ran in six tries. Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak was the the Golden Lions' hero, scoring a hat-trick of tries as early as the 25th minute of the match.
Vermaak opened the scoring in the third minute, when he crossed over after his forwards won a vital tighthead at a scrum. Five minutes later he went over for his second touchdown after Josh Strauss took a quick tap penalty close to Griquas' try-line.
Golden Lions' fly-half Burton Francis also got in on the scoring act, when he rounded off a fine move from inside his half. After winning a turnover well inside their half, the Lions' Michael Killian and Waylon Murray did well in the build-up before putting Francis in the clear.
Vermaak completed his hat-trick shortly afterwards, after Pat Cilliers went on a bullocking run before offloading to the scrumhalf.
Before that, Griquas' only points of the half came via two penalties by their fly-half Monty Dumond.
The Lions went looking for their bonus point for scoring four tries, and the Johannesburg-based union were soon running the ball from all areas of the field.
Their enterprising style of play was rewarded when Lionel Mapoe crossed over for his first try in the 32nd minute and Deon van Schalkwyk also got his name on to the scoresheet when he scored two minutes later.
Griquas were shell-shocked and their poor showing was underlined when just before half-time Justin Downey spilled the ball in the process of going over the try-line.
The second half was a dour affair, and although the hosts tried manfully to get back into the game, they were stopped in their tracks by resilient defending by the Lions.
The visitors were happy to defend their lead and opened the scoring in the second stanza through a penalty by Francis.
Griquas' only try of the match came midway into the second half when their skipper Jonathan Mokuena barged over from a scrum close to the Lions' try-line.
By then the boys from Johannesburg had done enough to win the match, but they added to the homeside's woes with further tries in the dying minutes by Waylon Murray and Mapoe.
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Vermaak 3, Mapoe 2, Francis, Van Rensburg, Murray
Con: Francis 3
Pen: Dumond 2
Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Richard Lawson, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Fabian Juries, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Shannon Rick, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (c), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements:16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Jean Botha, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Jaco Nepgen, 20 Matthew Rosslee, 21 Logan Basson, 22 Rudi Vogt.
Golden Lions: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies La Grange (c), 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joshua Strauss, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pat Cilliers.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Dries van Schalkwyk, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Hein Cronje, 22 Alwyn Hollenbach.
Referee: Craig Joubert