Johannesburg - Flyhalf JC Roos made the crucial kick in a match riddled with penalties as the Pumas snatched a 19-19 (half-time 6-13) draw against the Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.
Both Roos and Bulls flyhalf Wesley Dunlop kicked four penalties in a match strictly policed by referee Marius van der Westhuizen, who took great delight in thwarting every one of the players' tricks at ruck-time.
Roos succeeded with a 71st-minute penalty, after a ruck infringement by the Bulls, to draw the Pumas level, with both teams leaving Nelspruit with two points.
Both teams were content to keep the ball with their forwards for most of the match, not leaving the fans with much to cheer about.
Dunlop and Roos each kicked two first-half penalties before the Bulls grabbed the opening try after an impressive rolling maul and slick directing of the traffic by halfbacks Ruan Snyman and Dunlop allowed centre Ulrich Beyers to cross the line.
It was the Pumas supporters who were cheering in the second half, however, as flank Renaldo Bothma, showing pace and power, crashed over for an early try and Roos converted.
Dunlop and Roos then exchanged penalties until the end of the contest.
The fullbacks on either side - Jurgen Visser for the Bulls and Coenie van Wyk for the Pumas - were authoritative figures, but it was the forwards who dominated, the two packs leaving little leeway for expansive play.
Halfbacks Dunlop, Snyman and Roos used what little ball they received well, but both teams will be unhappy with their discipline at the breakdown.
Pumas - Try: Renaldo Bothma. Conversion: JC Roos. Penalties: Roos (4).
Blue Bulls - Try: Ulrich Beyers. Conversion: Wesley Dunlop. Penalties: Dunlop (4).