Fly-half Fred Zeilinga kicked 19 points as a second-half surge saw Free State Cheetahs claim an easy 44-16 win over Boland Cavaliers in the Currie Cup.
Boland trailed just 10-9 at half-time in Saturday's contest, but their first game back in the Premier Division ended in disappointing fashion as the Cheetahs, who reached the semi-finals of last year's competition, ran away with things in the second half.
The Cavaliers finished third in qualification and responded well to quickly falling 10-0 behind as three Nico Scheepers penalties reduced the deficit to a point at the interval.
But the Cheetahs' quality told after the break, Zeilinga converting four second-half tries and adding two further penalties.
Danwel Demas did cross for Boland's sole try late on, but it proved a miserable start to their return to the Premier Division for the Cavaliers.