Windhoek - The Leopards XV secured their spot in the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals
with a bonus-point 33-25 (half-time 26-15) victory over the Welwitchias at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday evening.
Vice-captain and flyhalf Shaun Michael Kaizemi dominated the scoreboard
for the Welwitchias but it was not enough to prevent the Leopards from
securing fourth spot on the log and a trip to either the Cape or
Kimberley to face Western Province or Griquas respectively in the
Kaizemi scored a brace of tries, a conversion and a penalty for a match
haul of 15 points while lock Nico Esterhuyse and fullback Russell van
Wyk completed the solitary bonus point for the hosts.
But the night belonged to the Leopards, who secured their bonus-point
before halftime with tries from flankers HP Swart and Jaco Jordaan, prop
Stephan Bezuidenhout, flyhalf Kobus de Plessis and hooker Dane van der
Westhuizen. Inside centre Adriaan Engelbrecht slotted four out of his
five shots at goal for a near-perfect night with the boot.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring through Esterhuyse as early as
the fifth minute but the Leopards struck back almost immediately with
their first try through Swart. Engelbrecht slotted the conversion to
hand the visitors a 7-5 lead.
It took just three minutes more for the visitors to extend their lead
when Bezuidenhout rumbled his way over the line for a 14-5 lead as
Engelbrecht added the extra two points.
Kaizemi then stamped his mark on the game halfway through the first half
as he slotted a penalty and then scored and converted his own try to
hand the hosts a slender one-point lead after 21 minutes.
But the lead was short lived as the Leopards came storming back with a
try through Du Plessis which Engelbrecht converted. Engelbrecht missed
his only kick of the night after Jordaan landed the bonus-point punch in
the corner as the Leopards entered the changeroom 26-15 to the good.
Kaizemi was at it again after the restart, slicing his way through the
Leopards’ defence with his second try of the match, although the flyhalf
wish he had remembered his kicking boots as he missed his third kick of
Kaizemi compounded his kicking misery when he sliced his penalty attempt
just five minutes later – a total loss of nine points for the evening.
The Welwitchias were right back in the game after 53 minutes when
fullback Van Wyk dived over in the corner for his side’s fourth try to
bring the hosts to within one point of the Leopards as Kaizemi missed
yet another chance at goal.
Hooker Van der Westhuizen rubbed salt into the wounds in the final ten
minutes when he scored the visitors' fifth and final try of the night as
the Leopards made sure of a pleasant trip home.
Tries: Shaun Michael Kaizemi (2), Nico Esterhuyse, Russell Steven van Wyk
Tries: HP Swart, Stephan Bezuidenhout, Kobus du Plessis, Jaco Jordaan, Dane van der Merwe
Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (4)