Leopards storm to victory
The Leopards stormed to a comprehensive 51-23 (halftime 21-16) victory over the SWD Eagles in their Currie Cup qualifier at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
Flank Juan Language and right wing Slyvian Mahuza both grabbed a brace of tries while veteran flyhalf Andre Pretorius kicked 16 points courtesy of five conversions and penalty and a drop goal as the hosts scored four second-half tries to pull away from their opponents.
The Eagles had done well to keep the gap to just five points as the halftime break but they failed to cope with the Leopards ability to finish off moves in the second stanza.
SWD had jumped in to an early 6-0 lead thanks to two penalties from flyhalf Karlo Aspeling.
The Leopards finally opened their account in the 18th minute with eighthman Rhyk Welgemoed stormed over for a converted try before Mahuza grabbed his first try just two minutes later.
The valiant Eagles narrowed the gap to just one point in the 24th minute when fullback Jarred Buys went over for a converted try.
But the Leopards re-established their superiority when Language crashed over for a try with nine minutes left in the half before Aspeling kicked a penalty in the last minute of the half.
The second half belonged almost exclusively to the hosts as they ran rampant in front of the 500-strong crowd.
Language, replacement lock Philip de Wet, Mahuza and left wing Luther Obi all scored tries while Pretorius added a penalty and a 71st minute drop goal as the Leopards scored 30 unanswered points.
The Eagles did manage to have the last say in the contest though with replacement hooker Kurt Haupt going over for a consolation try with two minutes left in the match.
Leopards – Tries: Rhyk Welgemoed. Slyvian Mahuza (2), Juan Language (2), Philip de Wet, Luther Obi; Conversions: Andre Pretorius (5); Penalty: Pretorius; Drop goal: Pretorius.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Jarred Buys, Kurt Haupt; Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2); Penalties: Aspeling (3).