The visiting Leopards were in a dominant mood and scored six tries en route to their 45-17 (halftime 31-10) victory over the Regent Boland Cavaliers in the Currie Cup first division match played at Boland Stadium, Wellington on Saturday afternoon.
Boland were the first side on the scoreboard after flyhalf Eric Zana kicked an early penalty and the hosts were ahead 3-0 with barely four minutes gone in the match.
This stunned the visiting Leopards into action and after great hands by hooker Edgar Marutlule it was outside centre Hennie Skorbinski who dotted down. Adriaan Engelbrecht kicked the conversion and the score was 7-3 to the team from Potchefstroom.
Engelbrecht kicked a penalty to extend the lead after Boland were guilty of an indiscretion on the ground. Boland flanker Ben Venter was then shown a straight red card after he punched an opponent and this proved to be vital in the context of the afternoon.
Winger Edmar Marais scored a splendid try after he was released by fullback Jarryd Buys and Engelbrecht kept his perfect record intact with the conversion.
Barely two minutes later Marais returned the favour and after a superb run down the touchline he drew a couple of would-be defenders and passed the ball to Buys. The debutant scored his first Currie Cup try and the Leopards were ahead 24-3 with 28 minutes gone.
After sustained pressure on the Boland tryline it was Marutlule who barged over to score the bonus-point try for the visitors. Engelbrecht added the extras and Boland seemed dead and buried, trailing 31-3 with five minutes left in the half.
Braam Gerber scored on the stroke of halftime and Zana converted the try give his side a glimmer of hope going into the break trailing 31-10.
Zana showed a superb turn of pace and individual skills with a line break to allow his fullback Jacquin Jansen to score a try with five minutes gone in the second half.
The conversion by Zana narrowed the deficit to 31-17 and Boland had the opportunity to impose themselves in the game, especially as Marutlule was yellow-carded for a professional foul.
George Tossel then proceeded to put the result beyond doubt with two fine tries in the space of eight minutes.
The first was after the centre had broken the line and the second was after the Leopards had pounced on the counter and he rounded off under the posts.
Engelbrecht kicked both conversions and the visitors had opened up a substantial gap at 45-17.
The last quarter of the game was a scrappy affair with both teams giving their substitutes a run. Neither team managed to trouble the scorers further and when the Leopards knocked on after the siren had sounded, referee Ben Crouse blew his whistle to end the encounter.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Braam Gerber, Jacquin Jansen; Conversions: Eric Zana (2); Penalty: Zana
Leopards – Tries: Hennie Skorbinski, Edmar Marais, Jarryd Buys, Edgar Marutlulle, George Tossel (2); Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (6); Penalty: Engelbrecht