Cape Town - The Cheetahs have thumped the Sharks in the opening game of the Currie Cup season, running out easy 47-12 winners in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
The defending Currie Cup champions scored two tries in the first half through flanker Uzair Cassiem and centre Francois Venter with flyhalf Niel Marais adding a two conversions and a penalty.
The Sharks replied through a converted try by centre S’bura Sithole but at the break, the Cheetahs lead 17-7.
In the second half, it was all the home side who added further tries through Reinach Venter, Raymond Rhule, William Small-Smith and Zee Mkhabela. Marais converted two and added two further penalties.
The Sharks added a consolation try at the death from replacement, Bandisa Ndlovu but it was the Cheetahs who again proved they will be a force to be reckoned with during this year's Currie Cup.
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Neil Jordaan, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Ox Nche, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Chris Dry, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Cecil Afrika
15 Courtney Winnaar, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Bernhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Wian Vosloo, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola
Substitutes: 16 Andrew du Plessis, 17 Thierry Kounga, 18 Tyler Paul, 19 Bandisa Ndlovu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Brandon Bailing, 22 Inny Radebe