The Free State Cheetahs briefly moved to the top of the Currie Cup table after a 29-16 win over Griquas in Kimberley.
Occupying the bottom two spots on the table, the duo were hunting a win that would propel them up the ladder before the four others took to the field.
Free State Cheetahs were boosted by the return of young fly-half Johan Goosen for the game and his partnership with Sarel Pretorius was set to thrill.
However, an opening littered by handling errors due partly to a gusty wind blowing across the Kimberley field meant there was little exciting running.
Francois Brummer had the first opportunity to put points on the board when he lined up a penalty from wide on the right-hand side, but the strong wind blew his effort well wide of the uprights.
Griquas soon learned from that though and chose to push a subsequent penalty into the corner for a line-out.
Goosen, with the wind at his back in the first half, took a shot at goal from 67 metres on the half-hour mark but he didn't strike the ball cleanly and his effort fell five metres short of the cross-bar.
He missed with another effort from just over 50 metres, shortly afterwards, but opened the scoring in the 33rd minute from much closer range.
Griquas struck back with two tries in quick succession.
Towering lock Rynard Landman got the first when he barged over from close quarters after Leon Karemaker was stopped just short of the try-line when breaking off the back of a scrum on the Cheetahs' five-metre line.
Three minutes later Martin Muller, Wesley Wilkins and Walter Venter combined well before Venter offloaded to Rocco Jansen who rounded off in the left-hand corner.
And on the stroke of half-time the Cheetahs struck back with a try of their own when Pieter Labuschagne scored after clever play from Sarel Pretorius who opted to run the ball when the visitors were awarded a penalty deep inside Griquas' 22.
With the wind at their backs after the break, the Cheetahs took control of proceedings. Goosen was replaced by Sias Ebersohn after 50 minutes but their was no letting up from the visitors, who ran in three tries unanswered tries during this period.
Frans Viljoen scored the first one in the 52nd minute after fine inter-play by his fellow forwards in the build-up and SA U20 speedster Raymond Rhule was rewarded for fine support play when he crashed over after running onto a pass from Pretorius five minutes later.
Brummer scored the home side's only points via a penalty in the 63rd minute and Pretorius secured the Cheetahs' win and their try-scoring bonus-point in the 66th minute when he sold two Griquas defenders a dummy close to the try-line before touching down.
Tries: Landman, Jansen
Pen: Brummer 2
Tries: Labuschagne, Viljoen, Rhule, Pretorius
Cons: Goosen, S Ebersohn, Scheepers
Griquas: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Wesley Wilkins, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (c), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Ivann Espag, 19 Frikkie Spies, 20 Chase Minnaar, 21 Marnus Hugo, 22 Marnitz Boshoff.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn (c), 12 Barry Geel, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Andries Ferreira, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Tewis du Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers.
Referee: Craig Joubert