NEWS ARTICLES
Leopards book their spot in final
Gerdie Karstens
MWP
September 30, 2016

The Leopards have booked themselves a spot in the final of the Currie Cup First Division after beating the Valke 40-30 in a closely contested semifinal in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon.

The hosts will face off with either the Griffons or Border, depending upon the outcome of the other semifinal played later on Friday evening between the two sides in East London.

The final is to be played next week on Friday, 7 October.

The Leopards started well and built a good lead of 27-13 at the break as the hosts had just too much fire power on the attack for the visitors.

Flanker Jaco Jordaan opened the Leopards' account with a good five pointer as early as the 14th minute, with centre Johan Deysel, who had a good afternoon with the kicking boot, pulling the conversion wide.

Deysel again came into play shortly thereafter as he scored a good try and converted it after succeeding with a penalty attempt just minutes before.

The try brought his personal tally of points to 20 for the game, which elevated him to joint top point scorer in the competition for the time being on 86 points.

It took the Valke more than 20 minutes to get on the scoreboard, with lock Marlyn Williams getting the spoils for the hard work the visitors put in. The conversion by flyhalf Karlo Aspeling was accurate, leaving the visiting side to trail by eight points.

One try by each of the Leopards wingers, Bradley Moolman and Dean Gordon, helped the hosts to a comfortable lead of 27-13 at the break, as Aspeling managed two penalties in the last couple of minutes to keep his side in contention, albeit by a deficit of two converted tries.

Deysel opened the Leopards' account in the second half with a good penalty, followed by a conversion to the try of flyhalf Gene Willemse.

Two consecutive tries in ten minutes by Valke scrumhalf Johan Pretorius, both converted, again gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

But with time running out it was too little too late as the hosts kept the Valke at bay in the last 20 minutes.

A second penalty by replacement back Warren Potgieter was to be the only points in the last quarter.

Deysel had the last say, kicking a penalty at the death to stamp the Leopards' authority on the game and assure their place in next week’s final.

SCORERS

Leopards 40 (27): Tries: Jaco Jordaan, Johan Deysel, Bradley Moolman, Dean Gordon, Gene Willemse. Conversions: Johan Deysel (3). Penalties: Johan Deysel (3).

Valke 30 (13): Tries: Marlyn Williams, Johan Pretorius (2). Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2), Warren Potgieter. Penalties: Karlo Aspeling (2), Warren Potgieter.

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