Cape Town - The Pumas ended an eight-year drought as they defeated Western Province in their Currie Cup encounter at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.
The Pumas won 22-12 after trailing 3-12 at half-time.
In a hard-fought encounter, both sides comitted several handling errors but it was the home side who finished stronger and eventually outscored their visitors three tries to two.
The win means the Pumas are now in joint fourth place with WP in the standings although the men from the Cape have played one match less.
The visitors made a strong start and after an extensive period camped inside the Pumas half, JD Schickerling crashed over for the opening try in the seventh minute after running onto an inside pass from EW Viljoen.
10 minutes later, Nizaam Carr strayed offside on defence inside the Pumas' 22 and Kobus Marais slotted the resulting penalty open the home side's account.
Midway through the half, the Pumas took the ball through several phases with their forwards, just outside WP's 22, but a wayward pass from Mark Pretorius was intercepted by Seabelo Senatla who outpaced the cover defence before scoring the visitors' second try.
Both sides continued to attack but a combination of handling errors and tenacious defending meant that neither team scored more points during the half and WP held a 12-3 lead at half-time.
Three minutes after the restart, the Pumas narrowed the gap in bizarre fashion.
This after Craig Barry failed to clear the ball in WP's in-goal area. His attempted clearance was charged down by Gerrit Smith and the ball was then gathered by Marais who dotted down and also converted.
With the score now 12-10 to the visitors, the Pumas suddenly had a spring in their step and they were the dominant side for the next 15 minutes.
That dominance was rewarded when Frank Herne showed great determination and leg drive before diving over for his side's second try in the 58th minute.
Five minutes later, Province suffered a further setback when Jano Vermaak was yellow carded for a tip-tackle on Jerome Pretorius.
The Pumas made full use of their numerical advantage and were rewarded in the 66th minute when Hennie Skorbinski took the ball into contact close to WP's line before offloading to Jerome Pretorius, who crashed over for the match-winning try.
Tries: Kobus Marais, Frankie Herne, Jerome Pretorius
Conversions: Marais (2)
Tries: JD Schickerling, Seabelo Senatla
Conversions: Damian Willemse
15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (captain), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Mark Pretorius, 1 Khwezi Mona
Substitutes: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Brian Shabangu, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Selom Gavor
15 Craig Barry, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Caylib Oosthuizen, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Werner Kok