The Down Touch Griffons were given a stern test but kicked on to pick up a solid 35-25 (halftime 20-18) bonus-point win over the Leopards in their Carling Currie Cup first division clash at the Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Monday afternoon.
The Griffons thus made it seven wins on the trot to stay top of the first division table and make this coming weekend's clash against the EP Elephants a table topping shootout between the competitions in-form teams.
Against the Leopards the Griffons were pushed hard in an absorbing first half that saw them lead by just two points at the half-time break.
An unconverted try to Leopards flyhalf Danrich Visagie in the second minute gave the visitors the perfect start, but two penalties from the boot of Griffons scrumhalf Jaywinn Juries saw the home side move ahead after 14 minutes.
Converted tries to prop Stephan de Jager and outside centre Keanu Vers, either side a penalty from Leopards fullback Duren Hoffman, gave the Griffons a strong 20-8 lead after 27 minutes.
The Leopards fought back over the final 10 minutes of the half, with Hoffman knocking over another penalty and scoring a try and converting it to cut the deficit to just two points at the break.
A Juries penalty and a converted try to fullback Dommenic Smit gave the Griffons some breathing room early in the second half as they moved 30-18 ahead after 49 minutes.
The Leopards struck back just two minutes later as right wing Pienaar van Niekerk ghosted over, with Hoffman’s extras making it a five point game.
However, an unconverted try to Griffons flyhalf Duann Pretorius in the 70th minute proved to be the game’s final points and was enough to allow the home side to see out the rest of the match comfortably.