Five tries to a single reply gave the Bloemfontein outfit a commanding 38-7 advantage after a lively, weather-interrupted first half. Play was temporarily stopped halfway through the opening stanza because of a nearby lightning storm, with the home team leading by 17-0.

Fortunately, the teams returned to resume play two minutes before the allotted time for such an interruption was about to expire. 

The Free Staters added a couple more tries to their tally in a dominant second half, while their opponents replied with a single score.

Two tries in the opening 20 minutes, by wingers Malcom Jaer and Daniel Kasende, made for a bright home start as the Toyota Cheetahs showed their attacking intend early on.

Their effective lineout gave them plenty of good attacking options, with hooker Wilmar Arnoldi helping himself to a brace off the back of a powerful maul.

When play resumed, the visitors' woes increased when flanker Sibusiso Sangweni received a yellow card for an illegal attempt to stop another tryline-bound maul, which resulted in a penalty try.

Following a rare foray into the home team's 22m territory, the Sigma Lions team hit back with their first try though No 8 Jarod Cairns who ran a great angle to run in for his maiden try of the campaign.

The Free Staters' maul juggernaut continued, with replacement hooker Louis van der Westhuizen also joining into the try-scoring act, as well as reserve prop Conraad van Vuuren and loose forward Jeandre Rudolph.


Toyota Cheetahs 66 (38) - Tries: Wilmar Arnoldi (2), Malcolm Jaer, Daniel Kasende (2), Gideon van der Merwe, Louis van der Westhuizen, Conraad van Vuuren, Jeandre Rudolph, Penalty try. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (5), Frans Steyn, Reinhardt Fortuin.

Sigma Lions 14 (7) - Tries: Jarod Cairns, PJ Botha. Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (2).