The Pumas beat Griquas 27-21 in Kimberley on Sunday to seal their second win of the Currie Cup season, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
Griquas were favourites coming into this encounter, but the visitors delivered a solid performance to collect four log points.
Both teams will lament the high error rate, but Griquas in particular were disappointing in general play and were outscored by three tries to two. The Pumas will be thankful for the accurate kicking boot of Justin van Staden, who succeeded with five out of five attempts at goal to keep his side in the ascendancy.
The game started off slowly, generating more handling errors than scoring opportunities. But in the 12th minute an offload by flank Lambert Groenewald freed up outside centre Jerome Pretorius for the first try of the match. Griquas’ reply was imminent when captain AJ Coertzen found a hole in the Pumas’ defence to score. And when André Swarts converted, the scores were level at 7-7.
With their defence causing frustration in Griquas’ ranks, the Pumas seized control of the game with 17 points before the break via two more converted tries and a penalty. Flank Chris Cloete bulldozed his way over the line, and his effort was followed up with another by loosehead Khwezi Mona. The kickers also exchanged penalties, but the Pumas held an impressive 24-10 advantage at half-time.
The second half saw even less action than the first, and it took until the 57th minute before any points were added. Fullback Eric Zana raced clear of the Pumas defence and flung a pop-pass to Renier Botha, who scored for the hosts. Swarts missed the conversion and was immediately relieved of the kicking duties, which fell to George Whitehead.
Griquas continued to probe, and when the Pumas were penalised for streaking offside close to the tryline, Whitehead slotted a penalty to reduce the gap to six points heading into the final 10 minutes.
All the momentum was with Griquas as they went in search of a converted try to win the match. But Van Staden stepped up late in the game to extend the Pumas’ lead with his second penalty.
And with time up on the clock and no chance of winning the game, Griquas were forced to kick at goal to finish within seven and come away with a losing bonus point.
Griquas – Tries: AJ Coertzen, Renier Botha. Conversion: Andre Swarts. Penalties: Swarts, George Whitehead (2).
Pumas – Tries: Jerome Pretorius, Chris Cloete, Khwezi Mona. Conversions: Justin van Staden (3). Penalties: Van Staden (2).
Griquas – 15 Eric Zana, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Adriaan Coertzen (captain), 10 Andre Swarts, 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Jonathan Janse Van Rensburg, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Pieter Jansen Van Vuuren, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Marius Fourie, 1 Devon Martinus.
Subs: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Jonathan Adendorf, 19 Kevin Kaba, 20 Renier Botha, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Koch Marx.
Pumas – 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 JP Lewis, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (c), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Marco Janse van Rensburg, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Sias Ebersohn.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images
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