Pretorius shines for Leopards
Welkom - Former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius kicked 15 points as the Leopards overcame a spirited Griffons side to grind out a 30-19 (half-time 23-14) victory in their Vodacom Cup encounter at the North West Stadium here on Friday night.
The hosts led 14-0 at one stage, but Joubert Engelbrecht grabbed two tries for the visitors either side of a Berty Visser score to hand the Potchefstroom side a second win of the season.
However, the win was not enough to prompt any movement for them on the North Section log, although they did manage to close to within a point of the Golden Lions in fourth place.
The hosts, who remain the only side without a win, started like a house on fire with number eight Nicky Steyn crossing for the first of two tries inside the opening three minutes.
Reinhardt Erwee added the conversion and six minutes later again slotted over a kick at goal after scrumhalf Tertius Carse went over for another running try.
That put the Griffons in total command and they continued their expansive game for the next 10 minutes, before the Leopards hit back with 23 unanswered points before half time.
Centre Engelbrecht was the first to collect points for his side when he ran in just wide of the posts, while winger Visser followed with a solo score of his own, both of which were converted by Pretorius.
The ex-Lions number 10 then added three penalties before the break to give his Leopards side a vital nine-point lead.
The Griffons tried desperately to get back into the game after the restart and managed to keep the scoreline the same for the next 22 minutes.
They showed good defence mixed with the odd foray forward, but shortly after the hour mark, Engelbrecht swooped for his second try of the night, again converted by Pretorius, to all but kill the game.
With six minutes remaining, Steyn scored what proved to be only a consolation try as the Griffons were left still searching for a first win of the season.
Griffons: Tries: Nicky Steyn (2), Tertius Carse. Conversions: Reinhardt Erwee (2).
Leopards: Tries: Joubert Engelbrecht (2), Berty Visser. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (3). Penalties: Pretorius (3). Sapa