Johannesburg - Missing out on the bonus-point may be a slight irritation to Pumas coach MJ Mentz, but his side’s 20-9 victory over the EP Kings in Nelspruit on Friday kept them in touch with leading Currie Cup teams.
Although the Pumas dominated nearly all aspects of the game, weather frustrated their efforts while the Kings were also full of value on defence.
The Pumas still managed to get two tries past the visitors in the first half with only two penalties apiece, the only points scored in the second stanza.
“We are relieved and grateful for the victory, it was difficult conditions especially in the second half with a very wet ball which didn’t fit in with the game plan we had planned,” Mentz said after the match.
“We adapted well, kicking the ball behind them at the right times to put them under pressure but credit to the Kings for the way in which they kept us out and denying us the four-try bonus point.”
EP Kings coach Brent Janse van Rensburg bemoaned his side’s handling errors while they lost a tactical edge with their lineouts not functioning as it should.
“We didn’t play well as a team tonight, there were a lot of unforced errors which is disappointing for us,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“It was slippery out there but it was the same for the Pumas, so we can’t use it as an excuse, the first half we had enough opportunities but our decision making wasn’t good when it came to penalties, and free kicks using the ball we were given.”
With three rounds left in the league phase of the Currie Cup, the EP Kings - who are lying in seventh place - will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year.
Although the Pumas have revived their playoff hopes, they face an uphill battle with an away fixture against Western Province and home matches against the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls remaining.