Vodacom Cup

Pumas down EP to reach final

2013-05-10 18:46
Carl Bezuidenhout (Gallo Images)
Nelspruit - Carl Bezuidenhout kicked 24 points to boot the Pumas into the Vodacom Cup final courtesy of a 39-13 (half-time 19-7) win over the Eastern Province at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday.

Flyhalf Bezuidenhout turned in a faultless kicking performance as he succeeded with five penalties, three conversions and a drop goal as the Pumas set up a showdown with either the MTN Golden Lions or defending champions DHL Western Province in the final to be contested in Nelspruit on Saturday, May 18.

The home team were full value for their win as they ran in three tries to one as they secured the first Vodacom Cup final in their history.

The Pumas had the better of the opening exchanges with their powerful defence snuffing out most of the Kings’ attacking ambitions.

The hosts, who lost just one pool match on their way to their semifinal place, took a ninth minute lead when Bezuidenhout popped over a close-range drop goal.

The Pumas were proving to be the dominant team and three penalties from Bezuidenhout saw them stretch their lead to 12-0 after 27 minutes.

The home team nabbed their first try five minutes later when hooker Frank Herne scooped up a loose ball before setting off on a 25-metre gallop down to the right-hand touchline.

Herne drew the last defender before popping an inside pass to left wing Rosko Specman who sprinted clear for a converted try.

The Kings, trailing by 19 points, were staring down the barrel but they managed to salvage something from a first-half when flank Mpho Mbiyozo was mauled over for a converted try with just two minutes left in the half.

Bezuidenhout and his opposite number Wesley Dunlop traded penalties after the restart to leave the score 22-10 in the Pumas’ favour after 55 minutes but Dunlop cut the deficit to just nine points with a 61st minute penalty.

However, just two minutes later, the Pumas squashed any hopes the Kings’ may have had of mounting a serious fightback when fullback Coenie van Wyk sniped over in the left-hand corner for a converted try.

Bezuidenhout then slotted his fifth penalty of the game before right wing JW Bell scored the try of the match when he set off on a jinking 25-metre run which resulted in a converted score.


Steval Pumas – Tries: Rosko Specman, Coenie van Wyk, JW Bell; Conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (3); Penalties: Bezuidenhout (5); Drop goal: Bezuidenhout.

EP Kings – Try: Mpho Mbiyozo; Conversion: Wesley Dunlop; Penalties: Dunlop (2).

Read more on:    pumas  |  vodacom cup  |  rugby

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