The Pumas celebrate their return to the Currie Cup with a 28-21 win over the Free State Cheetahs in Nelspruit.
Cheetahs started the game with a great try with Ryno Benjamin rounding off a good. The Cheetahs started the game with a fast tempo which tested the Pumas in the beginning of the game. This seemed to have all the ingredients for a great game but with allot of penalties and errors from both teams this game changed quickly in a real stop start game.
The Pumas had the upper hand in the scrums which was quite surprising against a usually strong Cheetah scrum.
The Pumas first try came after a quick take by Bell who scored himself after beating a few Cheetah players. This gave the Pumas the lead in the game with 10-7.
Negative play by Pumas for kicking the ball away gave the Cheetahs the change to level the score at 10 all again. Another penalty gave the Cheetahs a 13-10 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
The Pumas hit back with a try from Corne Steenkamp after the Pumas setup a maul from a ruck. This gave them the lead of 15-13.
Pumas Van Staden got himself a yellow card for kicking the ball away and also gave the Cheetahs the lead back at 16-15 which was also the halftime score.
The second half was more or less the same as the first half with a lot of mistakes for both sides but more so from the Cheetahs.
The Cheetahs also got a player in the bin as Sarel Pretorius also kicked the ball away. Van Staden converted the penalty and gave his team the lead again with 18-16. The game changer came when Pumas Renaldo Bothma slapped the ball back into the field of play while he was outside the field of play and everybody including the commentators believed a lineout should be called. But most were proven wrong as Jonker picked up the ball and score a try for the Pumas.
Even Nick Mallett admitted in the Super Sport Studio admitted afterwards that he did not know about this law in the game.
This gave the Pumas 28-16 lead and a very good opportunity to win the game.
The Cheetahs did get a try back with Ryno Benjamin scoring his second try in the corner. This took the score to 28-21 for the Pumas with a few minutes to go.
The Pumas defence was good enough to keep the Cheetahs out and they scored a memorable win over the Cheetahs in their first game back in the ABSA Currie Cup Premiere Division.
For the Pumas:
Tries: Bell, Steenkamp, Jonker
Cons: Van Staden 2
Pens: Van Staden 3
For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Benjamin 2
Con: Du Plessis
Pens: Du Plessis 3 Y
Yellow cards: Justin van Staden (Pumas, 35 – professional foul, kicking the ball away after the whistle), Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs, 54 – professional foul, kicking the ball away after the whistle had blown)