Edmar Marais ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Leopards cruised to a 50-25 (halftime 22-13) win over the Valke in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.
Right wing Marais dotted down three times inside 20 minutes as the hosts ran riot, running in six tries to three on their way to a convincing victory.
Leopards flyhalf Adriaan Engelbrecht enjoyed a profitable evening as he collected 20 points courtesy of a try, six conversions and a penalty as the home team claimed their second consecutive win of the competition after beating the Boland Cavaliers 45-17 in their opening fixture of the season.
The Valke remain winless after two games after they drew their opening game 30-30 against the Griffons before succumbing to the Leopards.
The visitors, in front of a 500-strong crowd, had opened the scoring through a third-minute penalty from flyhalf Wesley Roberts but the rest of the first quarter belonged to Marais who scored tries in the eighth, 17th and 20th minutes as the hosts raced into a 22-6 lead after 21 minutes.
The Valke struck back in the 27th minute, when livewire scrumhalf Anrich Richter sniped over for a converted try as the Leopards went to halftime leading 22-13.
However, the hosts took complete control in the second half thanks to tries from inside centre Hennie Skorbinski, Engelbrecht and hooker Edgar Marutlulle as the Leopards roared into a 43-13 lead after 56 minutes to effectively end the match as a contest.
The Valke did regain a measure of self-respect with two tries, from inside centre Willie Odendaal and replacement back Juan Kotze but the Leopards demonstrated their dominance when SA under-20 player Sylvian Mahuza, making his First Division debut, came off the bench as a replacement fullback and celebrated the occasion by grabbing a converted try.
Leopards – Tries: Edmar Marais (3), Hennie Skorbinski, Adriaan Engelbrecht, Edgar Marutlulle, Sylvian Mahuza; Conversions: Engelbrecht (6); Penalty: Engelbrecht.
Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter, Willie Odendaal, Juan Kotze; Conversions: Wesley Roberts (2); Penalties: Roberts (2).