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WP deals the killer blow to Pumas’ semi-final aspirations

They pronked their way to a seven tries to two 45-14 victory in this vital Currie Cup clash, sending the Pumas back to last place on the log.

A defeat for the Pumas against a Bok-laden DHL Western Province on Friday dealt the killer blow to their semi-final aspirations.

These two teams entered their Currie Cup Premier Division match at DHL Newlands equally determined to register a victory, as both sides found themselves on seven log points with only one win to their name.

Siya Kolisi of Western Province scrums down during the Currie Cup match between DHL Western Province and Phakisa Pumas at DHL Newlands Stadium (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

The home side, however, maintained their good track record. They remain undefeated by the Pumas since 2000, having pronked their way to a seven tries to two 45-14 victory in this vital Currie Cup clash, sending the Pumas back to last place on the log.

Going into the match, the Pumas grew in stature following their defeat over the Sharks on home soil last weekend. Essentially, the Pumas had to win all their home games, but this has not been the case. The Pumas again attempted to smash their opponents with confident high-risk running rugby.

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The game started with an almighty battle up front. With three Blitzboks in the home team, the Pumas stood strong. Their perseverance eventually paid off with a brilliant, well-led and well-supported try by Alwayno Visagie, who replaced the injured Henko Marais at centre. Chris Smith slotted the conversion.

In response, WP turned it up a notch. A great attacking ball lead to a WP try by Sergeal Petersen, opening their account in style. Josh Stander failed to convert. The Pumas’ tendency in this game to go for the intercept instead of their opponent, opened up a huge gap for Peterson, who found Sikhumbuzho Notshe on his outside, leading to WP’s second try. Stander missed again.

Proper defence, in typical hard-hitting centre style by Ruhan Nel, forced Pumas fly-half Smith to make a blind pass into the hands of Siabelo Senatla, who outpaced the Pumas leaving an easy conversion for Stander. Justin Philips dotted WP’s fourth try against the upright, after Siya Kolisi decided not to be greedy. Stander slotted his second conversion.

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Poor handling by Pumas fullback Devon Williams lead to another soft try by Senatla, and, had it not been for a forward pass, he would have scored his hat-trick and WP’s sixth try in the first half. Going into half time, WP led 31-7.

They continued their onslaught when Ernst van Rhyn scored early in the second half. This time Jean-Luc du Plessis added two points to
the score board.

Etienne Taljaard did what he does best, speeding along the touch line, but Senatla denied the try with great defence, sending Taljaard’s foot into touch.

In the dying minutes of the game, the Pumas eventually came to the party and Smith found his way through, but it was too little, too late. Rubbing salt into the Pumas’s wounds was Nel, who answered with a well-deserved try. WP smashed the Pumas, 45-14.

The Pumas will play the log-topping and Currie Cup title favourites, Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the last match, at Mbombela Stadium. The game will start at 14:00 on Saturday. Tickets are available at the ticket office, as well as Computicket. There are still a few spots left for supporters, between the ages of five and 12, to run onto the field with these two teams.

Those who want to secure their spot can contact Marius van Rensburg on 082-960-1732 before 14:00 on Wednesday.



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