Cape Town - The Free State Cheetahs replaced Griquas as leaders of the Currie Cup after scoring 10 tries to give the surprise early pacesetters a 68-14 hiding in Bloemfontein Saturday.
Both teams have 10 points after three rounds of the oldest provincial rugby competition in the world, but the Cheetahs' points difference is plus 70 and the Griquas minus 22.
The Golden Lions have nine points, Western Province seven, trophy-holders the Sharks and the Blue Bulls five each and the Pumas three.
As the Cheetahs ran riot in the central South Africa derby, it was difficult to understand how the Kimberley-based Griquas shocked defending champions the Sharks in the opening round.
The Griquas also defeated the Pumas before coming horribly unstuck at the Free State Stadium, where they trailed 28-0 at half-time despite having the edge in possession and territory.
While the visitors fluffed a number of scoring chances, the clinical Cheetahs had a bonus point for scoring four tries sewn up by the break.
Junior Pokomela was the first try scorer for the Bloemfontein outfit, crossing the line in the corner after six minutes.
Henco Venter, Joseph Dweba and William Small-Smith also scored before half-time and all four tries were converted by former Bordeaux-Begles flyhalf Tian Schoeman.
Dweba, Dries Swanepoel (two), Rabz Mazwane and Small-Smith scored in the second half before Louis Fouche completed the humiliation of the Griquas with a post-hooter try.
Schoeman slotted a further two conversions before passing the goal-kicking duties to Fouche, who succeeded with his three efforts.
"Hard work in training paid off today and we took our opportunities," said Cheetahs skipper Tian Meyer.
Apart from competing for the Currie Cup, which was first staged in 1891, the Cheetahs also play in the Pro14, which includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.
They switched to the predominantly European competition two years ago after being evicted from Super Rugby following a string of disappointing seasons.
The Golden Lions from Johannesburg won a Currie Cup match in Cape Town for the first time since 2012 with a stirring comeback earning a 30-28 victory over the Western Province.
Down 21-7 after 33 minutes, the visitors took the lead for the fist time with seven minutes left when Shaun Reynolds converted a brilliant solo try by Tyrone Green.
Green gathered an aimless kick from Josh Stander inside the Lions' half and eluded numerous opponents in a dazzling run before grounding the ball between the posts.
On Friday, the Blue Bulls won 25-17 at the Pumas in a lively bottom-of-the-table showdown in northeastern city Nelspruit.