Klerksdorp - Gouws Prinsloo kicked three conversions and scored a try as Griquas earned a 32-8 (half-time 20-3) bonus-point victory over the Leopards XV in a Vodacom Cup North Section match at the Klerksdorp Askari Stadium in Klerksdorp on Saturday.
Griquas secured a home quarter-final against the SWD Eagles and avoided a trip to the Free State when the replacement scrumhalf, Burger Schoeman, scored the all-important fourth bonus-point try just four minutes from the final whistle.
It was a well-constructed victory by the visitors as they scored two converted tries, a penalty and a drop-goal to end the first half with a 17-point lead.
The visitors opened up a 10-point lead after 15 minutes through a Prinsloo penalty and a try by the right wing, Ederies Arendse, which was converted by Prinsloo as well.
The home side opened their account in the 22nd minute with a penalty of their own through Gerhard Nortier, which would be their only points of the first half.
The visitors kept knocking on the door but the Leopards would just not answer until the 32nd minute when Griquas No 8, Leon Karemaker, burst over the line. Prinsloo converted to hand the visitors a 14-point lead. Rocco Jansen then rounded off a good first half for the visitors by slotting a drop-goal shortly before the break.
The Griquas flyhalf began the second half brilliantly by going over in the corner shortly after the restart, but was unable to convert his own try which gave the visitors a 22-point lead.
The hosts had to wait till the 55th minute before adding to their score when the replacement flank, Jaco Buys, scored for the Leopards. Nortier missed the conversion as the hosts reduced the deficit to 17 points.
The Leopards had no answer to the Griquas power despite having an opportunity to make the play-offs themselves. A victory for the Leopards would have seen them leapfrog the Golden Lions and travel to Durban to face the Sharks XV, but that quarter-final will now see the Lions travelling to the coast.
Try: Jaco Buys
Penalty: Gerhard Nortier
Tries: Ederies Arendse, Leon Karemaker, Gouws Prinsloo, Burger Schoeman
Conversions: Prinsloo (3)
Drop-goal: Rocco Jansen