Nelspruit - The Pumas secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Vodacom Cup with a scrappy 13-8 (half-time 10-0) victory over Western Province at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday night.
The Pumas began the stronger of the sides but missed the chance to take an early lead when flyhalf, JC Roos, missed an easy attempt at goal, following Western Province's indiscretion.
WP looked to open up the play when leading try-scorer, Devon Williams, picked up a loose ball in midfield and broke through the Pumas defence, but it ultimately led to nothing as the fullback had no support up with him.
The 2012 champions were lucky not to be further behind at half-time as Roos seemed to have left his kicking boots at home, with the Pumas pivot missing three kicks at goal.
Johnny Kotze was penalised for a late tackle on the opposing inside centre, Hennie Skorbinski, but Roos sent the penalty attempt wide midway through the first half.
Roos was called on again to try and open the scoring when the WP scrum was penalised for scrumming in on the angle but the flyhalf sent the ball wide of the post, although it was a difficult attempt just inside the WP half and on the touchline.
The Pumas opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with a penalty from Roos.
WP were pinned for illegal scrumming again and the home-pivot finally found his mark with his fourth attempt.
The moment of the first half came just four minutes from the break when the Pumas fullback, JW Bell, picked up a poor pass from Roos and broke through the WP defence and side-stepped Devon Williams to go over for the first try. Roos converted to hand the home side a 10-point advantage.
WP missed a golden opportunity to get back into the match on the stroke of half-time after Rohan Kitshoff broke free after another poor lineout from the visitors. WP recycled the ball and went to the left of the field only for Johnny Kotze to lose the ball forward in the tackle just five metres from the line.
The flow of the second half was affected badly with a staggering 26 handling errors conceded by both sides which caused the referee to use his whistle more than what the sparse crowd would have wanted.
Western Province were given their first chance at points in the 63rd minute when the Pumas were penalised for illegal scrumming. Gary van Aswegen slotted the attempt to reduce the deficit to seven points.
Three minutes later, Giant Mtyanda, was pinned for holding the ball on the ground and Van Aswegen sent the ball into touch just five metres from the tryline.
WP had struggled all evening with their lineouts but the men from Cape Town managed to secure the ball and setup a driving maul.
Their captain, Kitshoff, broke away from the back of the maul to go over the line, with Van Aswegen missing the conversion.
A penalty from Pumas replacement flyhalf, Coenie van Wyk, two minutes from time, secured the home side's place in the semi-finals.
Earlier on Friday, the Golden Lions beat the Sharks XV 27-20 in Durban.
In Saturday's quarter-finals, the Free State XV host the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein (15:00), while Griquas tackle the SWD Eagles in Kimberley (15:00).
Try: JW Bell
Conversion: JC Roos
Penalties: Roos, Coenie van Wyk
Try: Rohan Kitshoff
Penalty: Gary van Aswegen