Pumas claim gutsy win against Griquas

The Pumas scored three tries in their 27-21 victory against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

Griquas came into this fixture as favourites, having pushed the Bulls close at Loftus last week, but it was the injury-hit Pumas who bounced back from their loss to the Cheetahs.

Griquas dominated the opening minutes of the match, played in 38°C heat, yet only had a George Whitehead penalty to show for it. While Zak Burger broke through the Pumas' defence and regathered his kick ahead, he was held up over the tryline.

It was Pumas scrumhalf Ginter Smuts who scored the first try after taking a quick penalty tap. The visitors struck again four minutes before the break when Neil Maritz received possession inside his half and stepped inside-outside James Verity-Amm to score. Eddie Fouche kicked both conversions to make it 17-6.

Griquas, though, got back into the game after the half-time hooter when Victor Sekekete went over from a driving maul.

Fouche kicked his second penalty to put the Pumas 20-11 ahead, before Griquas brought on several forward replacements.

A strong scrum by the hosts was followed minutes later by Adré Smith's try from a lineout driving maui and Whitehead's conversion reduced the gap to two.

With 10 minutes to go, the Pumas scored a superb third try as Fouche offloaded in the tackle to Phumzile Maqondwana, who popped the ball up to Devon Williams. 

Whitehead's third penalty made it a six-point game, but the Pumas were able to wind down the clock.

Griquas – Tries: Victor Sekekete, Adré Smith. Conversion: George Whitehead. Penalties: Whitehead (3).
Pumas –
Tries: Ginter Smuts, Neil Maritz, Devon Williams. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (3). Penalty: Fouche (2).

Griquas – 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 André Swarts, 11 James Verity-Amm, 10 George Whitehead (c), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Carl Els, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli.
Subs: 16 Alandré van Rooyen, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Madot Mabokela, 19 Adré Smith, 20 Zandré Jordaan, 21 Gideon van der Merwe, 22 Ashlon Davids, 23 Berton Klaasen.

Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Erich Cronjé, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (c), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Subs: 16 HP van Schoor, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Dewald Maritz.

Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images