Cape Town - The Pumas kept their
playoff hopes alive thanks to their 20-9 victory over the EP Kings in Nelspruit
on Friday to move into fifth place on the Currie Cup log.
The hosts will regret
the amount of lost opportunities as they could easily have earned the full
complement of points had they finished better.
The Kings battled to
find any kind of ascendancy and instead they were forced to
front up defensively which they did well considering the relentless attacking
by the home side.
The weather also
played its part with wet and cold conditions resulting in a host of handling
errors and difficult scrumming conditions.
The Kings will be
satisfied with their scrums while they also did well to keep the Pumas at an
arm’s length throughout the match.
It was once again
Scott van Breda’s kicking boot that kept the Eastern Cape side in the match - the fullback succeeding with three penalty conversions.
His efforts with the
boot were not enough to save his side and it was the Pumas that claimed a vital
victory with two converted tries, while flyhalf Justin van Staden also added
two penalty conversions.
The Pumas scored their first try in the 14th minute when fiery No. 8 Jason-Collin Fraser finished
from the right-hand sideline.
Fraser, a constant
threat on the night, took advantage of an overlap stepping inside to beat Kings
flyer Luther Obi to cross the whitewash.
Van Staden converted
the try and added another three points after Kings flanker Thembelani Bholi was
yellow-carded short of the quarter mark.
The Pumas eventually
scored 10 points during Bholi’s absence with flanker Marnus Schoeman scoring
their second try of the match from the back of a driving maul that emanated
from a lineout.
Van Breda narrowed
the deficit after 30 minutes of play with the hosts going into the half-time
break with a 17-9 lead.
While the Pumas
instinctively opted for the corner kick for most of the first half they quite
responsibly gave the ball to Van Staden shortly after the break to return their
advantage to 11 points.
both territory and possession the Pumas could not find the breakthrough in the
second half but will be delighted to be back on the winning trail.
Jason-Collin Fraser, Marnus Schoeman
Justin van Staden x 2
Van Staden x2
Scott van Breda