CURRIE CUP WRAP: The Pumas qualified for the Currie Cup Premier Division on Friday.
They joined Griquas and Boland Cavaliers as the three teams who will feature in the revamped Currie Cup competition - with the six Super Rugby franchises having automatically qualified.
The men from Nelspruit squeezed out a 29-27 win over a willing Leopards team in their qualifying match - moving up to third in the standings.
However, second-placed Western Province is one of the Super Rugby franchises that automatically qualify - meaning the Pumas are effectively second, behind the table-topping Griquas, among the teams who are required to qualifying.
With one round matches remaining, after this weekend, Griquas top the table of qualifiers with 56 points, followed by the Pumas (46) and Boland (45 - but still to play two matches).
The Griffons (36) and Leopards (32) are the closest challengers, but with just one round remaining can't catch the top three anymore.
Eastern Province Kings 24-32 Griffons
The Griffons used all their experience to edge the EP Kings 32-24 in Port Elizabeth.
There was some distance on the qualifying log between the two sides coming into the game with the Griffons sitting mid-table and the inexperienced Kings in a lowly second-last position.
The Griffons outscored the Kings by four tries to three in a game in which two tries by Selvyn Davids proved to be the difference.
Tries: Penalty try, Zungu, Mattheus
Cons: Bolze 2, Mattheus
Tries: Davids 2, Williams, Nel
Cons: Pretorius 3
Pens: Pretorius 2
Eastern Province Kings: 15 Lindelwe Zungu, 14 Keanu Vers, 13 Siphu Msutwana, 12 Michael Brink, 11 Mabhutana Peter, 10 Simon Bolze, 9 Frans Ueckermann, 8 Lusanda Badiyana (captain), 7 Jayson Reinecke, 6 Rob Lyons, 5 Wynand Grassmann, 4 Hannes Huisamen, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Tango Balekile, 1 David Murray.
Replacements: 6 Jean-Pierre Jamieson, 17 Roche van Zyl, 18 Justin Hollis, 19 Stephan Deyzel, 20 Rouche Nel, 21 Garrick Mattheus, 22 Somila Jho.
Griffons: 15 Selvyn Davids, 14 Vuyo Mbotho, 13 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 12 Japie Nel, 11 Warren Williams, 10 Duan Pretorius, 9 Louis Venter, 8 De Wet Kruger, 7 Vincent Maruping, 6 Martin Sithole, 5 Gavin Annandale, 4 Samora Fihlani, 3 Heinrich Roelfse, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Daniel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Hennie Venter, 17 Gerard Baard, 18 Wayne Ludick, 19 Zingisa April, 20 Oshwill Nortjé, 21 Colin Herbert, 22 Norman Nelson.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Sharks 10-26 Falcons
Christian Rust ran in a brace of tries as the Falcons turned in a dominant performance on their way to a 26-10 win over the Sharks XV.
Fullback Rust scored both his tries in the first half as the Falcons completed a well-deserved win - just their fourth of the season.
In the end the men for the East Rand in Gauteng ran in four tries to two to upset their more fancied opponents on their way to a bonus-point victory.
Tries: Rust 2, Muir, Mamojele
Cons: Potgieter 3
Sharks XV: 15 Morné Joubert, 14 Nkululeko Marwana, 13 Neil Maritz, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Malcolm Cele, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Ayron Schramm, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 David McDuling, 3 Gerhardus Engelbrecht, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Barend Potgieter, 18 John Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jaywinn Juries, 21 Duncan Campbell, 22 Alrin Eksteen.
Falcons: 15 Christian Rust, 14 Coert Cronje, 13 Andries Truter, 12 Ruan Allerston, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Warren Potgieter, 9 Johan Pretorius, 8 Thabo Mamojele, 7 JP Mostert (captain), 6 Dwight Pansegrouw, 5 Marlyn Williams, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Andries Schutte, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Jacobus Strauss.
Replacements: 16 Gihard Visagie, 17 Henri Boshoff, 18 Friedle Olivier, 19 Ernst Ladendorf, 20 Etienne Storm, 21 Grant Janke, 22 Damian Engledoe.
Referee: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina)
Blue Bulls 95-12 Welwitschias
The Blue Bulls ran in a staggering 15 tries as they smashed the Welwitschias 95-12 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Left wing Jade Stighling ran in four tries, while right wing Alcino Izaaks and flank Abongile Nonkontwana both dotted down twice.
Flyhalf Tony Jantjies ended with 19 points - as he scored a try and kicked seven conversions.
The outgunned Welwitschias slumped to their 13th loss (in as many matches) this season.
Tries: Stighling 4, Warner, Izaacs 2, Tsomondo, Rossouw, Ngoza, Jantjies, September, Nonkontwana 2, Swanepoel
Cons: Jantjies 7, Stander 2
Tries: Wohler, Van Zyl
Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jade Stiglingh, 13 Marquit September, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Alcino Isaacs, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Freddy Ngoza, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Tapiwa Tsomondo, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Njabulo Gumede.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Justin Forward, 18 Eli Snyman, 19 Juan-re Swanepoel, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Ganfried May.
Welwitchias: 15 Riaan van Zyl, 14 Phillip Nashikaku, 13 Justin Nel, 12 Francois Wiese (captain), 11 Malcolm Moore, 10 Mahco Prinsloo, 9 Camerol Klassen, 8 Johann Wohler, 7 Morné Blom, 6 Zayne Groenewaldt, 5 Wikus Davis, 4 Alberto Engelbrecht, 3 Hauta Veii, 2 Petri Burger, 1 Schalk Bergh.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Van Vuuren, 17 Antonio Tripodi, 18 Muharua Katjijeko, 19 Johan Luttig, 20 JC Winkler, 21 Mathys Pretorius, 22 Shaun Kaizemi.
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
Pumas 29-27 Leopards
The Pumas scored a late try to clinch a nail-biting 29-27 victory over the Leopards at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
In a see-saw match the home team took a two-point (12-10) lead into the half-time break.
The tit-for-tat scoring continued after the break, the lead changing hands five times - with Francois du Toit going over in the 79th minute for the match-winner.
Tries: Greeff 2, Terblanche, Fisher, Du Toit
Cons: Williams, Van Staden
Tries: Morrison 2, Hayward 2
Cons: Hugo, Swart
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Tyler Fisher, 13 Deon Helberg, 12 Leighton van Wyk, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Marlou van Niekerk, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Rassie van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Sabelo Nhlapo/Jacques Kotze, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Reuben Johannes, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Damian Janse van Rensburg.
Leopards: 15 Gene Willemse,14 Rowayne Beukman, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Jaco Hayward, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Jeandré Rudolph (captain), 7 HP Swart, 6 Juan Language, 5 Dutchie Robertse, 4 Stairs Mhlongo, 3 Lucky Ngcamu, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Bart le Roux.
Replacements: 16 Dave van der Westhuyzen, 17 Walt Steenkamp, 18 Loftus Morrison, 19 Malherbe Swart, 20 Dean Stokes, 21 Ryno Wepener.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden