The Pumas will play in the Currie Cup Premier Division next year after beating Griquas 33-15 in Nelspruit on Friday night.
A last-minute converted try gave Griquas a 21-19 win in the first promotion-relegation match in Kimberley, but they were well beaten in the second leg.
There is still hope for Griquas, though, as there is set to be a revote in December on the proposal to expand the Premier Division from six to eight teams. Should that produce a different outcome to the one at Saru's special general council meeting on 30 September, Griquas and the EP Kings will be in the top flight in 2014.
The Pumas were full value for their win at the Mbombela Stadium.
They led 16-12 at half-time thanks to a fifth-minute try that came from a poor Jean Stemmet clearance kick. Coenie van Wyk counter-attacked and sent Stefan Watermeyer away.
JC Roos kicked the conversion and went on to add two penalties and a drop goal, while Gouws Prinsloo kept Griquas in the game with four penalties.
Renaldo Bothma was yellow-carded for a high tackle in the 23rd minute, and while Prinsloo kicked the resultant penalty, Griquas were not able to make their one-man advantage count.
The Pumas struck a big blow on the 50-minute mark when they sent the ball wide, only for a deliberate knock-down from Stemmet to prevent a certain try. Referee Craig Joubert went to the TMO, saw that the Pumas had a three-man overlap when the incident occurred and had no hesitation in brandishing a yellow card and then awarding a penalty try.
Prinsloo kicked his fifth penalty to cut the deficit to eight (effectively five considering the permutations) with 15 minutes to go. But the Pumas scrum, which had been smashed in the first half, was totally dominant in the second and forced a penalty that Roos slotted.
The hosts then cemented their place in the Premier Division when, after Willie le Roux had been brought to ground, Rosco Speckman got a boot to the ball, picked it up and sprinted away for his side's third try.
Pumas – Tries: Stefan Watermeyer, penalty try, Rosco Speckman. Conversions: JC Roos (3). Penalties: Roos (3). Drop goal: Roos.
Griquas – Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (5).
Pumas – 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 JW Bell, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 RW Kember, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Corné Steenkamp (c), 5 Rudi Matthee, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Vincent Koch.
Subs: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Drew van Coller, 19 Eduan Van Der Walt, 20, Uzair Cassiem, 21 Dewald Pretorius, 22 Jerome Pretorius.
Griquas – 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Burger Schoeman, 5 Patrick O'Brien, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (c), 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 JP Nel, 22 Nico Scheepers.
Photo: Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images
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