Pretoria - Bulls and Springbok flank Arno Botha helped the Blue Bulls to a comfortable 46-25 win over the Leopards XV in Pretoria in their Vodacom Cup match on Friday.
This was Botha's first game since he left the field against the Stormers in the opening round of Super Rugby with a pectoral injury.
The visitors started the stronger of the two, racing to an 8-0 lead within the opening minutes. Warren Gilbert scored the first try of the match for the Leopards.
The Bulls struck back with a try by Arno van Wyk who collected a fumbled catch and steam rolled it over.
The Bulls kept hammering away at the Leopards and scored two tries through captain Marvin Orie and Travis Ismaiel. Marais nailed both conversions to give the Bulls a 19-17 lead with 20 minutes played.
Botha added his name to the score sheet when he muscled over for a try and Marais easily added the extras and a penalty for the Bulls.
The Leopards scored an unconverted try through George Tossel to cut the halftime deficit to seven points, with the score 29-22 for the Bulls.
The Leopards were first to score in the second half when Gilbert kicked a penalty from within his own half.
Unforced errors didn't stop the Bulls from scoring three more tries through Marquit September, Jade Stighling and Nardus van der Walt.
The first two tries were scored off the back of strong running while Van der Walt caught the Leopards napping with a quick tap allowing him to score with relative ease.
Marais had an erratic afternoon with the boot as he could only convert September's efforts but the end result still saw the Blue Bulls comfortable 46-25 victors.
Tries: Arno van Wyk, Marvin Orie, Travis Ismaiel, Arno Botha, Marquit September, Jade Stighling, Nardus van der Walt
Conversions: Kobus Marais (4)
Tries: Warren Gilbert, Jaco Hayward, George Tossel
Conversions: Gilbert (2)
Penalties: Gilbert (2)