The Pumas picked up their fourth win of the Currie Cup season on Saturday as they overcame the Free State Cheetahs 31-17.
The Pumas picked up their fourth win of the Currie Cup season on Saturday as they overcame the Free State Cheetahs 31-17 in Bloemfontein.
Victory moves the promoted team up to second provisionally, with the Golden Lions facing the Blue Bulls later in Round Five of the competition.
The Pumas, who have taken to the top tier with ease this season, showed their worth once again in the first-half as they held a 13-0 advantage at one stage thanks to a converted try and penalty goals. In truth they were deserving of this margin as they looked for their first away win of 2014.
Hennie Skorbinski opened the scoring in the seventeenth minute when a lovely line from number eight Renaldo Bothma put over the outside centre. Justin van Staden added the extra two points before slotting those couple of three-pointers in a five minute spell before the half-hour mark.
The Cheetahs were now needing to hit back thankfully for their supporters a response came in the 35th minute, with nice interplay down the left wing seeing back Raymond Rhule, Clayton Blommetjies and JP du Plessis combine for the latter to finish off down the touchline. It was now 7-13.
Van Staden and the Pumas though were quick to reply as three minutes from the break they added a penalty before Rhule went close in the corner.
The hosts would not be denied nine minutes after the break though when the nuggety Sarel Pretorius burrowed his way over the whitewash, with a successful conversion from Van Staden reducing the arrears to two points. The Pumas would need to brace themselves for a tough final half-hour.
Van Staden and De Wet would then exchange three-pointers on the hour mark of the game as it was perfectly set up at 19-17 in the Pumas' favour.
And the visitors would see out the game in style, with the impressive Rosko Specman showing his pace from close range to score a 72nd minute try before replacement Marius Coetzer added the gloss two minutes from time.
For FS Cheetahs:
Tries: Du Plessis, Pretorius
Con: De Wet 2
Pen: De Wet
Yellow: Benjamin (slowing down the ball – 78 minutes)
Tries: Skorbinski, Specman, Coetzer
Con: Van Staden, Roos
Pen: Van Staden 4
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Phillipus du Plessis, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Henco Venter, 3 Rudolph Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Kevin Stevens.
Replacements: 16 Abraham le Roux, 17 George Marich, 18 Werner Lourens, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Joubert Engelbrecht.
Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dylon Frylinck, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Corne Steenkamp (c), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 JC Roos, 22 Stefan Watermeyer.
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Gerrie de Bruin, Jaco Kotze
TMO: JJ Wagner