The Cheetahs maintained their unbeaten start to the 2016 Currie Cup campaign with a dominant 57-25 win over the struggling Eastern Province Kings.
After a bye in round four, the Cheetahs were quickly back in their stride in Bloemfontein as they ran in nine tries to secure a bonus-point win that leaves them one point behind early leaders Sharks.
All aspects of the Cheetahs' game worked supremely, their front five dominating and their backs producing some free-flowing rugby that the Kings – playing their third game in seven days – could not cope with.
Nico Lee grabbed himself a hat-trick, while Paul Schoeman and Charles Marais crossed twice each as the Cheetahs scored at will.
The Kings have now lost all five of their opening matches, and will hope their week off in round six can help them regroup.
Victory for the Cheetahs' put them top, but it was only temporary as the Sharks returned to the summit, albeit only thanks to a losing bonus point against Western Province.
For the first time this season the Sharks fell to defeat as Province ended their two-game losing streak with a 34-27 victory at Newlands.
Sharks looked like maintaining their 100 per cent record thanks to the boot of Curwin Bosch, but they let a 20-17 half-time lead slip.
Two EW Viljoen tries and 57th minute score from Kobus van Wyk set up Provinces' win, Rhyno Smith's late try only enough to get that losing bonus for the Sharks.