Western Province broke a two-game losing streak with a much-needed victory over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Sunday.
WP have been struggling for form, winning just two of their five matches to date and coming into this clash on the back of consecutive defeats against Griquas and the Cheetahs. But they overcame a tough challenge on Sunday to claim 37-23 bonus-point victory.
Matchflow: It was a tight first half as the Pumas stood up to their more accomplished opponents. But the hosts lost captain Pieter Janse van Vuuren to a yellow card and WP responded with a try from wing Tristan Leyds and three penalties from flyhalf Tim Swiel.
WP’s 16-point haul was only worth a six-point lead at the break as Pumas fullback Gerrie Labuschagne kicked one penalty and referee Cwengile Jadezweni sin-binned WP prop Sazi Sandi and awarded the hosts a penalty-try with four minutes to go in the first half.
The Pumas would close the deficit to three after the interval, but any hopes of a momentum shift was dashed as the visitors scored 21 unanswered points for what proved to be an unassailable lead, as scrumhalf Paul de Wet dotted down before Leyds crossed for his try-double and hard-charging No 8 Evan Roos powered onto the scoresheet.
Pumas hooker Simon Westraad and replacement flyhalf Ed Fouche combined for two late tries that made the scoreline more respectable.