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Watts leads Pumas to first win

17th July 2010 17:23

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Elgar Watts Pumas

Hat-trick hero: Elgar Watts

Fly-half Elgar Watts led the newly promoted Pumas to their first victory in the Currie Cup premier division, as they secured a 37-32 win over the Leopards.

Watts scored 27 of his side's points at the Puma Rugby Stadium in Witbank on Saturday, to notch up their first win of the season.

Watts - who scored a hat-trick of tries in the first half - dotted down in the thirteenth and 23rd minutes, successfully converting both himself, to give his side a 14-0 lead midway through the opening stanza.

The Leopards fought back, however, with wing Deon Scholtz putting his side on the scoreboard with a try after a chip and chase in the 29th minute.

The Pumas reacted immediately, with Watts scoring his third try in the 31st minute, but the Leopards again struck back on the counter attack.

Three minutes later wing Dumisani Matyeshana added another five points for the visitors and fly-half Clayton du Rand converted, narrowing the gap to 19-12 at the break.

Watts continued to stretch the lead, however, adding two penalties for the home side within the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Du Rand keeping his side in the chase by adding three points for the Leopards during the same period.

Scholtz scored his second try in the 64th minute and four minutes later right wing Alistair Kettledas added another for the hosts as the Leopards continued to fight what was looking increasingly like a losing battle.

While scrum-half Dumisani Matyeshana managed to close the gap for the visitors a minute later, Kettledas hammered the final nail in the coffin when he broke through to dot down behind the posts three minutes before the hooter, with Watts adding another conversion to his points tally.

Michael Bondesio scored a consolation bonus point try in the dying minutes, and while Du Rand converted, it wasn't enough for the Leopards who fill bottom spot on the log with two bonus points in this early stage of the competition.

The scorers:

For Pumas:
Tries: Watts 3, Alistair Kettledas 2
Cons: Watts 3
Pens: Watts 2

For Leopards:
Tries:Scholtz 2, Matyeshana, Bowles, Bondesio
Cons: Du Rand 2
Pens: Du Rand 1

Pumas:15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Shaun Venter, 13 Ashwin Scott, 12 Siviwe Magaba, 11 Allister Kettledas, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Doppies le Roux, 7 Alwyn Bester, 6 Corné Steenkamp, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Hannes Franklin (c), 1 Ronnie Uys.
Replacements:16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Dawie Steyn, 18 Willem Serfontein, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Ricardo Croy, 22 Juan Visser.

Leopards:15 Russell Jeacocks, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Jovan Bowles, 12 Neill Jacobs, 11 Dumisani Matyeshana, 10 Clayton Durand, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Riaan Swanepoel, 7 Palm Koch (captain), 6 Victor Joubert, 5 Anthonie Gronum, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Philip Lemmer, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Divan Kotzé.
Replacements: 16 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 17 Johan Coetzee/Eric Coetzee, 18 Edrich Linde, 19 RW Kember/Danie Crous, 20 Theo van Wyk, 21 Bernd Theisinger, 22 Danie Dames.

Referee: Joey Salmans

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