The Leopards kept their hopes of a place in the Currie Cup alive as they smashed the Down Touch Griffons 70-25, (halftime 28-8) in their Absa Currie Cup Qualifier at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The hosts were in scintillating form as they ran in 10 tries to four on their way to a comprehensive victory. The bonus-point win saw the Leopards move in to second place on the log and just one point behind the GWK Griquas.
Veteran flyhalf, and former Springbok, Andre Pretorius ended with 16 points as he kicked eight conversions while fullback Hoffman Maritz, left wing Luther Obi and right wing Sylvian Mahuza all ran in a brace of tries for the home team.
The Griffons, who had only lost one match in their last five visits to Potchefstroom, were never in the contest despite running in three tries.
Flank Philip de Wet opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute when he crashed in for a converted try before the Griffons struck back with a penalty from flyhalf Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
It was as close as the visitors would get as lock Francois Robertse, Maritz and Obi all scored converted tries for the Leopards in the first half with only left wing Norman Nelson dotting down for the Griffons.
The second half saw much of the same as the Leopards continued to add to their dominance as scrumhalf Dillon Smit, Maritz, Mahuza (twice), replacement forward John-Roy Jenkinson, and Obi all scored converted tries.
Nelson grabbed his second try in the second stanza while lock Armand Koster and eighthman Nicky Steyn scored tries for the visitors.
Leopards – Tries: Philip de Wet, Francois Robertse, Hoffman Maritz (2), Luther Obi (2), Dillon Smit, Sylvian Mahuza (2), John-Roy Jenkinson; Conversions: Andre Pretorius (8), Adriaan Engelbrecht (2).
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Norman Nelson (2), Armand Koster; Conversion: Pieter-Steyn de Wet; Penalties: De Wet.