A powerful display by the Pumas’ forwards paved the way to a 22-17 victory over Griquas and their first Currie Cup win of the season in Nelspruit on Friday.
ENTERTAINING PHASES OF PLAY
The home side stamped their authority from the outset with entertaining phases of play on attack and a dominant performance in the scrums, and this paid off with a 15-7 halftime lead.
The second half, however, was tightly fought as Griquas showed their fighting spirit until the dying minutes, but in the end a penalty try awarded to the Pumas proved to be the difference as each team crossed the tryline twice.
Ginter Smuts (scrumhalf) opened up the scoring for the Pumas in the 11th minute with a penalty goal, and they earned a penalty try nine minutes later from powerful scrum to take a 10-0 lead.
Griquas hit back minutes later with a try by wing Eduan Keyter, who received an accurate pass from a ruck at pace and broke through the defence to crash over, and the successful conversion by Tinus de Beer (flyhalf) saw them reduce their deficit to only three points.
The Pumas responded well with Luther Obi (wing) finishing off a fantastic try in the 33rd minute as he dashed over in the corner to extend their lead to 15-7.
Griquas, however, earned the first points in the second half thanks to De Beer’s second penalty goal, which reduced the gap on the scoreboard to five points.
YELLOW CARD FOR CYNICAL PLAY
Both teams displayed creativity on attack in an attempt to breach the defence as the match progressed, but it was the hosts who earned the first try of the half with replacement flank Daniel Maartens dashing his way to the tryline from an opposition error to stretch their lead to 22-10.
Pumas replacement prop Wikus Groenewald received a yellow card soon after for cynical play, and that paved the way for Keyter to score his second try with three minutes to play as he gathered an innovative crossfield grubber kick, which De Beer converted to close the gap on the scoreboard to 22-17.
With neither team able to add to the score as the clock wound down, the Pumas sealed their first Currie Cup win, although Griquas walked away with a bonus point for going down by less than seven points.
Tries: Penalty Try, Luther Obi, Daniel Maartens
Conversion: Ginter Smuts
Tries: Eduan Keyter (2)
Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2)
Penalty: De Beer