Cape Town - Despite the presence of Springbok centre and skipper Jean de Villiers, Western Province crashed to a 19-6 defeat against the Pumas in their pre-season friendly at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre in Franschhoek on Saturday.
Having made his comeback from a knee injury when the Springboks played the World XV at Newlands last weekend, De Villiers started the game and featured for 60 minutes.
Western Province will play the Kings in another friendly next weekend, a match De Villiers is expected to start once again as he continues his road to full-fitness - and his spot in the Bok midfield.
However, in something of a curveball, Springbok skipper in the Rugby Championship defeat against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday, Victor Matfield, picked up a hamstring injury which is likely to rule him out of contention for the Test against the All Blacks at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg next weekend, potentially opening the way for De Villiers to make an earlier-than-expected return to the fray.
Western Province begin the defence of their Absa Currie Cup title against the 'Qualifier' - expected to be Griquas - on Friday, August 7 at 15:30.
The Pumas host the Sharks in their opening fixture at the Mbombela Stadium later that same day (18:00 kick-off).
15 EW Viljoen, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Tshotsho Mbovane, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Josh Katzen, 6 Taps Tsomondo, 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Jean Kleyn, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Ernst Stapelberg, 23 Kyle Lombard, 24 Jarryd Sage.
15 JW Bell, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Johan Herbst, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona
Substitutes: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Sabelo Nhlapo, 18 Marne Coetzee, 19 Jannie Stander, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hennie Skorbinski, 23 Bernado Botha, 24 Hoffmann Maritz, 25 Jaco Bouwer, 26 Jason-Collin Fraser, 27 Marius Coetzer.