The Pumas outplayed an inexperienced Lions team at Ellis Park to open their account with a bonus-point win in the 2022 Currie Cup, while handing the hosts a second successive loss.
Following an opening-round loss to the Vodacom Bulls, Jimmy Stonehouse’s Pumas bounced back with a fine performance giving them a 50-9 victory. Meanwhile, Mziwakhe Nkosi’s Lions fell to their second loss of the season, after suffering a 48-36 defeat by the Stormers in Cape Town.
Making the win even more special, it was the Pumas’ third successive victory over the Lions in the Currie Cup, something that has not happened in the union’s history.
The first 15 minutes of the match belonged to the Pumas as the visitors dominated territory and possession, but lacked the composure to finish their opportunities. The Pumas did take an early lead through a penalty from flyhalf Tinus de Beer. It got even better for the Pumas as they got the breakthrough shortly afterwards, winning a turnover off a Lions scrum inside their own half and counter-attacking, with fullback Devon Williams finishing off the opening try.
The Lions started to claw their way back into the contest and got on to the scoreboard through a long-range penalty from flyhalf Vaughen Isaacs. However, the Pumas continued to up the tempo and a break started by scrumhalf Lucky Dlepu’s quick-tap was finished by flank Daniel Maartens.
The Lions briefly reduced the deficit to 11 points through another penalty, but the Pumas won the ball back off the final play of the first half. After a powerful maul, hooker Corne Fourie crossed the tryline to give the away side a 24-6 lead at half time.
De Beer took advantage of unstructured defence to race through and score the bonus-point try for the Pumas just after the break, with his conversion leaving the Lions with a 22-point mountain to climb. That only got steeper in the final 20 minutes as Pumas tighthead prop Simon Raw forced his over from a driving maul, before Llewellyn Classen drove over the tryline from short range.
The rout was not done there, as lock Brandon Valentyn reached over and De Beer converted to bring up a half-century of points for the Pumas.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images