Despite missing nine kicks at goal, the Leopards beat the SWD Eagles 35-24 (halftime 25-17) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
The Leopards ran in seven tries but Adriaan Engelbrecht missed seven conversions and two penalty attempts, but made up for his lack of direction by scoring two tries.
The victory for the visitors means that they will travel to Port Elizabeth to face the EP Kings while the Eagles will travel to Nelspruit to take on the unbeaten Pumas in the other semifinal.
It was the home side who opened the scoring with a penalty from their fullback, Gerrit Smith, after five minutes. But the Leopards struck back three minutes later when Engelbrecht burst over for the first of his two tries.
Eight minutes later, it was the turn of the Leopards’ openside flanker, Phillip de Wet, who rounded off a good try to extend the lead to seven points. The visiting fullback, Danie Dames, extended the lead further after 23 minutes when he slid over the line for his try.
Four minutes later, the hosts were back in the game when they reduced the deficit to five points with a converted try from loosehead prop Roy Godfrey. But the hosts were to pay for some indiscipline when tighthead prop Grant Kemp was shown a yellow card by referee Lourens van der Merwe six minutes before the break.
The Leopards made their extra man count when De Wet crossed for his second try. But the Eagles did not give up and struck back immediately with a try by inside centre Marshall Boesak. Smith converted to reduce the gap to only three points.
But a lack of concentration and being one man down resulted in Engelbrecht scoring his second try on the stroke of halftime to give his side an eight point lead going into the break.
The hosts were only able to add one more seven-pointer to their tally through Shaun Raubenheimer halfway through the second half, which Smith converted.
The Leopards rounded off a deserved victory with two further tries from number 8 SJ Niemand and lock Brendon Snyman.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Roy Godfrey, Marshall Boesak, Shaun Raubenheimer ; Conversions: Gerrit Smith (3) ; Penalty: Smith.
Leopards – Tries: Adriaan Engelbrecht (2), Phillip de Wet (2), Danie Dames, Brendon Snyman, SJ Niemand.