Cheetahs bade farewell to their Pro14 season with a comfortable 61-25 win over the struggling Southern Kings side in Bloemfontein.
Cheetahs had won all of their previous nine meetings with the visitors in the PRO14 before the game – and they continued their unbeaten run with a nine-try triumph.
Abongile Nonkontwana, Walt Steenkamp, Joseph Dweba, Louis Fouche, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Malcolm Jaer and Boan Venter were among the try scorers for the hosts.
The Kings did close the gap to 33-25 after the break thanks to Harlon Klaasen’s double, plus a Bjorn Basson try, but the hosts never looked in trouble as they finished the season on a high.
The final all-South African duel of the campaign saw Masixole Banda give the visitors an early lead in Bloemfontein with a penalty as Kings started the brighter of the two sides.
Cheetahs responded almost immediately, though, as their powerful forward pack started to pile pressure on Kings, with Nonkontwana benefitting from a driving lineout maul.
A second try for Cheetahs followed on 17 minutes when the Kings defence opened up to allow Steenkamp to burst through the hole and score with his outstretched arm.
A yellow card for Meli Rokoua added to Kings’ troubles and the hosts took advantage from their next attack, with Dweba the man pushed over by the driving maul this time.
Schoeman continued his hot-streak from the kicking tee to add a third conversion from three, before Kings showed their fight with their second try through Klaasen to cut the deficit to 21-13.
Cheetahs continued to show their attacking prowess, however, and bagged their bonus-point score with a wonderful move finished off by Venter, with Schoeman kicking the extras again.
While the half-time break provided a brief respite for the visitors, Cheetahs were soon hammering away at the Kings’ line again and scored a fifth try through Fouche on 41 minutes.
But Kings refused to give in and Klaasen’s second try of the game, along with a Basson’s score on 50 minutes, saw them close the deficit to 33-25 with just under half an hour to play.
Any hopes of a dramatic comeback were soon extinguished, though, with Janse van Rensburg dotting down his side’s sixth of the afternoon – Schoeman once again converting.
Venter went over for his second try moments later to make the result safe, before Kings buckled in the final ten minutes – conceding further tries to Jaer and Boan Venter.
Tries: Nonkontwana, Steenkamp, Dweba, S Venter 2, Fouche, Janse Van Rensburg, Jaer, B Venter
Cons: Schoeman 8
Tries: Klaasen 2, Basson
Cons: Banda 2
Pens: Banda 2
Yellow card: Rokoua (Southern Kingsm 28)
Louis Fouche, 14 Tian Meyer (captain), 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg,
12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter, 8
Henco Venter, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Marnus van der Merwe, 5 JP du
Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles
Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Malcolm Jaer, 23 Darron Adonis.
Southern Kings: 15
Masixole Banda, 14 Meli Rokoua, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Sibusiso Sithole,
11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Courtney Winnaar, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7
Martinus Burger, 6 Stephan De Wit, 5 John-Charles Astle (captain), 4
Andries Van Schalkwyk, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk
Replacements: 16 Alandre Van Rooyen, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Lupumlo Mguca, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Jurie Van Vuuren, 21 Rudi Van Rooyen, 22 Bader Pretorius, 23 Ntabeni Dukisa.
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Aled Evans (Wales), Paul Mente (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Greeff (South Africa)