Currie Cup leaders Western Province became the first visiting team to win in Nelspruit this season as they beat the Pumas 37-23 at Mbombela Stadium on Friday.
Province survived a second-half onslaught from the Pumas but held their nerve in the dying minutes and scored their fourth try of the match to seal the contest and a bonus point win.
Province led by 14 points at half-time, and shortly after the interval increased their lead to 21, before a spirited comeback by the hosts cut the gap to seven points.
With the win, Province move to 34 points with one match remaining for the Cape side before the playoffs.
The match started off with fly-half Demetri Catrakilis slotting a penalty to take a 3-0 lead for Province in the second minute.
The opening try followed in the 10th minute when Nizaam Carr crossed the whitewash for the visitors, and Catrakilis added the conversion to take a 10-0 lead.
The first points for the hosts came through the boot of number 10 JC Roos as he nailed a penalty to close the gap to 10-3.
Just after the half-hour mark, Catrakilis added another penalty to send the score out to 13-3.
The Pumas responded with a penalty of their own in the 36th minute as Roos was successful from the halfway line to make it 13-6.
A minute before the break, Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored in the corner for Province after some good build-up play from the Cape outfit. Catrakils again converted and Province led 20-6 going into the break.
In the 46th minute, Michael van der Spuy scored next to the posts for Province’s third try of the evening, and Catrakilis added the extra two points to take a 27-6 lead.
As the lead rose to 21 points, the home side finally clicked into gear in the 50th minute.
Stefan Watermeyer scored two tries in the space of three minutes, and replacement fly-half Justin van Staden was successful with both conversions as the gap was narrowed to seven points at 27-20.
Van Staden added a penalty in the 54th minute to close the gap to four points at 27-23.
Catrakils again extended the lead for Province in the 58th minute with a penalty to take the score to 30-23.
Two minutes before the end, Carr barged over for his second try of the evening to seal the result, and Catrakils added the conversion for a hard-earned 37-23 win.
Tries: Watermeyer 2
Cons: Van Staden 2
Pens: Van Staden, Roos 2
For Western Province:
Tries: Carr 2, Notshe, Van der Spuy
Cons: Catrakilis 3
Pens: Catrakilis 4
Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corne Steenkamp (c), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Uzair Cassiem, 19 RW Kember, 20 Dylon Frylinck, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Jerome Pretorius.
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Justin Geduld, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Manuel Carizza, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Michael van der Spuy.
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Christie du Preez, Stefan Breytenbach