Puma-Woema prevails in Currie Cup

Jul 24 • General News • 1805 Views • Comments Off on Puma-Woema prevails in Currie Cup

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On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Mbombela Stadium braced itself for the latest installment in the ongoing catfight between the Steval Pumas and the visiting Xerox Golden Lions. This installment was the opening match of the Currie Cup Premier Division for both teams.
It was always going to be a humdinger, and with 34 points scored in the first 20 minutes of the game, the crowd knew they were in for a serious game of rugby.

The Steval Pumas were the first to bother the scorers when Justin van Staden slotted a penalty in the 3rd minute, 3-0.
The Xerox Golden Lions hit right back with a try, converted by Shaun Reynolds, 3-7.
It took the Steval Pumas only two minutes to return the favor. Gerrit Smith scoring and Justin van Staden converting, 10-7.
3 minutes later, Shaun Reynolds kicked a penalty to level the scores, 10-10.

As a testament to the ding-dong nature of the game, both teams would score within 3-minute intervals, the Xerox Golden Lions with a converted try in the 14th minute, 17-10, and the Steval Pumas courtesy of a 17th-minute Nardus van der Walt try, converted by Justin van Staden, 17-17.

Both teams tightened up their defenses and it would be 16 minutes before Francois Kleinhans scored a try, converted by Justin van Staden in the 33rd minute to give the home team a 24-17 advantage at halftime.

The start of the second half echoed the start of the match, with Bradley Thain scoring for the Xerox Golden Lions in the 42nd minute. Shaun Reynolds was on hand to convert, 24-24. Jerome Pretorius saw yellow for the hosts in the 50th minute. The one-man disadvantage did not deter them and Justin van Staden scored a converted try within minutes, 31-24. Aphiwe Dyanti hit straight back with a try for the Xerox Golden Lions. The conversion sailed wide, 31-29.
The visitors kept the momentum going and scored another converted try 4 minutes later, 31-36.

Hennie Skorbinski scored shortly after, Justin van Staden converted, and at 38-36, with 15 minutes to play, the game was finely poised.

Gerrit Smith tipped the scales in favor of the home-team with his 2nd try 2 minutes later. The conversion was wide of the mark, as was a penalty a few moments later, but it took the scoreboard to the final score of 43-36.

Steval Pumas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg said it was a good game and that the players gave absolutely everything.

They put their bodies on the line today, for that I am thankful and respect the effort given. We made life hard for ourselves though as we didn’t look after the ball well enough at times and coughed up possession too easily. With a team like the lions, you need to be able to keep the ball for a decent period of time. But the players really wanted to play well and I think that pressure resulted in some impulsiveness evident, which happens. We will take a lot of good out of this match as there were certainly some great touches out there, but at the same time, we realize there is always work to do so that we can improve.” said Janse van Rensburg

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