Western Province kicked off the defence of their Currie Cup crown with an impressive 43-19 win over Griquas in Kimberley on Friday.
The team from Cape Town outscored their hosts six tries to three in an entertaining game on the rock-hard pitch of the Northern Cape, dictating the pace of the game.
Top-class performances from Seabelo Senatla, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Oli Kebble highlighted the win for the visitors, who never looked like losing, ruling the territory and possession stats despite conceding yellow cards for professional fouls either side of half time.
Senatla scored two tries and helped set up another while Demetri Catrakilis kept the scoreboard ticking with six successful shots from his eight attempts at goal as WP got their season off to the perfect start.
Western Province dominated from the start, running in three tries inside the first half-hour to lead 24-7 at the interval.
WP Number eight Nizaam Carr and wings Senatla and Dillyn Leyds all touched down as the defending champions raced ahead although the hosts did reply to the first try via a score of their own from AJ le Roux.
SA Sevens international Senatla used his searing pace to bag his second try and the bonus point for WP soon after the restart.
But Griquas launched a spirited comeback, as WP's discipline faltered, with fly-half Riaan Viljoen and centre Ruhan Nel both scoring to cut the deficit to just 10 points around the hour mark.
Province turned on the gas in the closing stages however as barnstorming flanker Notshe and skipper Juan de Jongh added their names to the scoresheet, settling any doubt over the final result.
Tries: Le Roux, Viljoen, Nel
Cons: Prinsloo, Dukisa
For Western Province:
Tries: Senatla 2, Carr, Leyds, Notshe, De Jongh
Cons: Catrakilis 5
Yellow cards: Kleyn, Elstadt
Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Jaco Nepgen, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Jacquin Jansen, 22 Sandile Ngcobo.
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Johnny Kotze, 23 Charlie van Jaarsveld.
Venue: Griquas Park, Kimberley
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
TMO: JJ Wagner