Johannesburg - Wings Luther Obi and Slyvian Mahuza both scored four tries in the Leopards' 103-15 rout of Border Bulldogs in Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
They were the standout players in a 15-try extravaganza as the Leopards desperately tried to make up the one point which separated them from the Griquas in the qualifying competition for promotion to the Currie Cup Premier Division. But it all came to nothing when Griquas themselves registered a bonus-point win over the SWD Eagles and earned promotion by just one point.
The Leopards never let up as they demolished a team which was destined to end without a win in the competition. Centre George Tossel added two tries to contributions from Hoffman Maritz, Dillon Smit, Morne Hanekom, Francois Robertse and Kobus de Kock. Former Springbok Andre Pretorius added 28 points with 14 conversions.
Border may have taken some heart when Masixole Banda slotted a penalty after just two minutes, but that was the last they were to see of the ball until half-time, when the Leopards were eight tries and 54-3 up, which included three tries from Mahuza and two from Obi.
Border did regain some pride when wing Michael Makase scored just after half-time, and Bangi Kobese added another five-pointer just before the close. But they were very much against the run of play.
The Leopards won five of their six qualifying matches, their only loss being a 33-32 reverse, despite a great fightback, against Griquas, and even in that they outscored their hosts four tries to three.
If there was any consolation, they can boast the two top try-scorers, in Obi and Mahuza, with 10 apiece, the highest number of try bonus points, the most tries scored (51) against 16 conceded and the greatest points difference.
But now they have to refocus on winning the Absa Currie Cup First Division, which in this form is a more-than realistic prospect.
Tries: Luther Obi (4), Sylvian Mahuza (4), George Tossel (2), Hoffman Maritz, Dillon Smit, Morne Hanekom, Francois Robertse, Kobus de Kock. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (14).
Tries: Michael Makase, Bangi Kobese. Conversion: Masixole Banda. Penalty: Masixole Banda