Cape Town - The Boland Cavaliers brushed aside the Leopards with a bonus-point 43-31 (halftime 24-12) victory in their provincial tournament clash at the Johann du Randt Stadium in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The victory lifts the Cavaliers up to second on the log with 15 points while the Leopards are languishing third-from-bottom with just six points from four matches as the visitors ran in six tries to the five of their hosts.
Boland raced into a 14-point lead within the first eight minutes of the match as they ran in two converted tries through flyhalf Theuns Kotze and right wing Sergio Torrens with Kotze being spot on with the boot.
The hosts recovered quickly and ran in their first unconverted try three minutes later through their captain and Number 8 Jeandre Rudolph before Kotze restored a 12-point lead with a penalty 12 minutes before the break. The Leopards never gave up, pressing the visitors hard which resulted in a converted try though outside centre Johan Deysel which flyhalf Schalk Hugo converted.
With the hosts just five points off the pace and the first half coming to a close, the Cavaliers gave themselves a cushion when Torrens ran in for his second five-pointer of the afternoon. Kotze converted to hand the Cavaliers a handy 12-point lead at the break.
The second stanza followed the same script as the first with the Cavaliers racing away into the distance as the centre-pairing of Ryan Nell and Christopher Bosch both burst over the tryline for converted tries that left the hosts 26 points adrift.
With just 10 minutes left on the stadium clock, Deysel cut inside and burst through the defence to score his second try of the afternoon and with replacement flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg converting, the Leopards felt they had some belief of pulling this game out of the fire. That was enhanced just two minutes later as fullback Gene Williemse crossed the line in the corner but Janse van Rensburg was unable to convert, leaving the Leopards still 14 points off the pace.
Replacement utility back, Edwin Sass then rubbed salt into the wounds of the hapless Leopards as he crossed over for an unconverted try to all but seal the game with just six minutes left. But the Leopards managed to round off another poor afternoon with a consolation try through their captain, Rudolph with Janse van Rensburg knocking the ball between the sticks.
Leopards – Tries: Johan Deysel (2), Jeandre Rudolph (2), Gene Willemse; Conversions: Schalk Hugo, Benhard Janse van Renseburg (2).
Boland Kavaliers – Tries: Sergio Torrens (2), Theuns Kotze, Ryan Nel, Christopher Bosch, Edwin Sass; Conversions: Kotze (5); Penalty: Kotze.