The Pumas erased an early deficit to defeat the EP Kings 20-9 in Friday's Currie Cup match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The visitors started strongly, but faded as the match progressed with the Pumas easing to victory to complete the double over the men from Port Elizabeth.
During a lively first half, fullback Scott van Breda put them 6-0 ahead with two penalty goals inside 10 minutes. The Pumas began nervously, but wrestled their way into the lead when No 8 Jason-Colin Fraser stepped past two defenders to score. Flyhalf Justin van Staden knocked over the conversion and a further penalty for a four-point advantage.
With their lead overturned, the Kings were dealt another blow when openside flanker Thembelani Bholi was yellow-carded for cynical and repeated infringements. The hosts took full advantage of being a man over, and with an unstoppable lineout drive surged over the tryline to have flank Marnus Schoeman dot down his fifth try of the season.
Van Breda pulled back three points for the Kings on the stroke of half-time, which turned out to be their final points of the match. The second half failed to match the action of the first, but Van Staden knocked over a second penalty to wrap up the win.
Pumas – Tries: Jason-Colin Fraser, Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Justin van Staden (2). Penalties: Van Staden (2).
EP Kings – Penalties: Scott van Breda (3).
Pumas – 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (c), 11 Rosko Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Giant Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Corné Fourie.
Subs: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Marné Coetzee, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Hennie Skorbinski, 22 Marcello Sampson.
EP Kings – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (c), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Elgar Watts.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images