Obi Luther continued his rich run of form with a brace of tries to help the Leopards complete a solid 38-27 (21-3) victory over the Valke in their Absa Currie Cup First Division encounter at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday afternoon.
The right winger, who scored two tries in a late show against the Boland Kavaliers last weekend, was again instrumental as the visitors crossed the whitewash six times.
George Tossel, Hendrik Dames, Robert Kruger and Stephan Bezuidenhout were the other scorers for the Leopards, while the bottom-placed Valke responded via tries from Kyle Hendricks (2), Franco Maritz and former Springbok winger Jongi Nokwe.
The bonus-point win meant the Leopards consolidated their position in the top four – they climbed as high as second and could stay there depending on the outcome of Saturday’s late kick-off between Boland and SWD Eagles in Wellington.
But in Gauteng, it was the away side that dominated, with the result mainly built on a solid first half showing.
The Leopards made a strong start to the game and opened the scoring via a seventh minute-try by centre Tossel, which was converted by flyhalf Adriaan Engelbrecht.
In the 11th minute, opposite number Juan Kotze opened the home side’s account with a penalty, which proved to be their only points of the first half.
The Valke number 10 then missed a penalty that could have kept his team in touch, before Engelbrecht converted the Leopards’ second try by fullback Dames to take his tally for the season past 100 points.
That was in the 23rd minute and on the half-hour mark flanker Kruger went over to leave the gap at 18 by the interval, this despite Charl Weideman being sent to the sin-bin for the play-off hopefuls.
The procession seemed to continue after the break when Obi went in for his first try after 43 minutes, before both teams were reduced to 14-a-side following yellow cards for Kruger and JP Mostert.
Still, there was no stopping the Leopards as Bezuidenhout made it 33-3 after 56 minutes.
The home side at least managed to claim some pride in the final quarter when Hendricks scored twice to mix with tries for wingers Maritz and Nokwe, while Obi added another to his name with the Leopards closing out a comfortable win.
VALKE – Tries: Kyle Hendricks (2), Franco Maritz, Jongi Nokwe. Conversion: Wesley Roberts, Hendricks. Penalty: Juan Kotze.
LEOPARDS – Tries: Obi Luther (2), George Tossel, Hendrik Dames, Robert Kruger, Stephan Bezuidenhout. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (4).