Cape Town - The Leopards scored eight tries in thrashing the Eastern Province Kings 54-14 (halftime 28-7) in their new provincial tournament rugby fixture at Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom, on Friday.
It was a match that mattered nothing in the final outcome of the promotion battle but it was one that both sides would have wanted to win on the back of tough seasons.
The home team had only managed four previous victories in 11 rounds while the Kings were even worse with only two wins to their credit.
But it was the Leopards who wanted it more on Friday and they ran rings around the Kings in scoring four tries in each half.
The Leopards wasted little time in striking with left wing Jaco Hayward scoring two tries in the opening five minutes. Flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg converted both.
Janse van Rensburg was on target again as he added the two points to right wing Rowayne Beukman’s score as the home team rattled up a 21-0 lead after 17 minutes.
Kings lock Tazz Fuzani hit back with a try which Garrick Mattheus converted.
But a bonus point score by Leopards fullback Gene Willemse and conversion by Janse van Rensburg ensured a healthy lead at halftime.
Janse van Rensburg scored and converted a try of his own soon after the break before and another five-pointer from flank Juan Language saw the hosts streak ahead.
Kings flank Juan Jonck scored his team’s second try of the afternoon and Mattheus added the extras but it was never going to be enough to halt the Leopards’ charge.
They scored two more tries through Ryno Wepener and Language to wrap up a fine performance in front of their home fans.
Leopards – Tries: Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Gene Willemse, Jaco Hayward (2), Juan Language (2), Rowayne Beukman, Ryno Wepener; Conversions: Benhard Janse van Rensburg (5), Schalk Hugo
EP Kings – Tries: Juan Jonck, Tazz Fuzani; Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (2)