Nelspruit - The Pumas have continued their unbeaten run of form in this year's Vodacom Cup competition by beating the Griquas 25-16 in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
In what was branded a grudge match after the Pumas relegated Griquas to the First Division of the Currie Cup competition in their previous meeting in Nelspruit, the hosts put the first points on the board via the kicking boot of fly half JC Roos. Roos kicked a penalty in the 6th minute after Griquas infringed at the first scrum of the game.
The Pumas looked eager to retain their unbeaten status and put Griquas under some good pressure early on. They put the visitors to the test with regards to defence with the latter responding to the challenge.
The Peacock Blues also did their bit on the attack and full back Jacquin Jansen got the chance in the 15th minute to level the scores, but his penalty attempt went wide.
Roos, however, was on target as he kicked another penalty as a result of illegal scrumming by the visitors.
What Griquas did well was their driving maul and that put the Pumas under immense pressure.
They secured a penalty after the Pumas collapsed the maul and Jansen finally got his side on the board. The driving maul is one of the Pumas strong points as well and they used it in turn to put the visitors under pressure.
Also countering it illegally, Roos kicked his third penalty of the night when referee Pro Legoete penalised the visitors.
The Pumas also scored their first try of the match from a driving maul when captain and flanker Corn Steenkamp burst over from a line out on the half hour mark with Roos converting to give his side a lead of 13 points.
After the hooter had gone for half-time, Jansen kicked another penalty to reduce the deficit to ten points.
Roos was again called to action shortly after the second half commenced, keeping his success rate of 100% for the evening in tact with his effort. It wasn't long however before Griquas also crossed the try line via flanker Marnus Schoeman to reduce the deficit to eight points. It was Schoeman who was sin-binned shortly thereafter for infringing at the break down area, but this time Roos missed with his penalty attempt.
He made up later on, kicking another good penalty to seemingly put the game out of Griquas reach.
When Griquas replacement back Gouws Prinsloo scored a try in the final minutes against the run of play, the visitors were elated, but Roos countered with another penalty kick to snub the visitors of a bonus point.
Pumas 25 (16): Try: Corne Steenkamp; Conversion: JC Roos; Penalties: JC Roos (6)
Griquas 16 (6): Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Gouws Prinsloo; Penalties: Jacquin Jansen (2)