Pumas pummel lethargic Leopards
CRAVEN WEEK REPORT: The Pumas were in an unforgiving mood on Day Three of the 2019 Craven Week when they ran riot against the Leopards to claim a comprehensive 54-17 victory.
The Pumas took a comfortable 26-7 lead at half-time and built on that lead in the second half to score a total of eight tries to register their first win of the week and hand the Leopards their second defeat.
Handling errors were the order of the day in the opening 10 minutes of the encounter, which created a stop-start affair and killed all the momentum. The Pumas got a solid scrum in the middle of the field and built a few good phases before going down the left flank. Some neat interplay between Edwin Till and Chyle van Zyl, resulted in the latter dotting down for the opening score to hand the Pumas a 5-0 lead.
That score gave the Pumas the confidence boost they needed and extended their lead in the 15th minute when Van Zyl crashed over from close range after a solid Jackson Madiba run got the Pumas to within a metre of the try line. Walker Visser popped over the conversion to ensure a 12-0 lead.
There was no stopping the Pumas as they stretched their lead to 19 points with a brilliant team try rounded off by wing Ndumiso Dludla. The execution was brilliant in its simplicity as the backline shifted the ball through the hands after committing their respective defenders. Visser slotted the conversion from the right touchline to ensure the 19-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The one-sided nature of the first half continued as the Pumas continued to tick the scoreboard over when Stirling Jaarse burst through the heart of the Leopards’ defence after a quickly taken penalty. Visser maintained his 100% conversion rate to ensure a 26-0 lead after 27 minutes.
The Leopards finally got themselves on the board close to halftime when a break from Isrome Phatudi put Wimpie Venter down the wing, who raced away to score under the uprights. Refentse Maobi converted to see the Leopards trail 7-26 at the break.
The Pumas picked up where they left off at the resumption of the match when Zweli Mokoena rounded off a flowing counter-attack to score his side’s fifth try of the match. Visser was once again on target with his conversion to restore the 26-point lead, 33-7.
The Leopards grew in confidence as passes started to stick and grabbed their second try in the 47th minute with a well-executed line-out, seven metres from the Pumas’ tryline. The throw-in went to the front where wing Botshelo Kuyadi was waiting. He collected and muscled his way through two defenders to reduce the deficit to 12-33.
The match seemed to fizzle out from that point as errors began to creep back into the game until the Pumas grabbed their sixth try of the game when Tristan Juries grubbered ahead and raced to dot the ball down despite the best efforts of a Leopards defender. Visser’s conversion stretching the lead to 40-12.
Things went from bad to worse for the Leopards as hooker Dewald Theron saw yellow for a neck roll and the Pumas took immediate advantage. From the resulting penalty, the Pumas set up a line-out on the Leopards’ five-metre line. Xavier Fourie collected the throw-in and cantered through for a try. Visser’s conversion ensured a 47-12 lead.
The Leopards hit back though through a Jacques Stander try as the scrumhalf broke down the blindside off the back of a scrum to score in the corner and reduce the deficit to 17-47 in the 68th minute. However, the Pumas had the final say with Jaarse grabbing a brace. Visser popped over the conversion to end the match.
Tries: Van Zyl 2, Dludla, Jaarse 2, Mokoena, Juries, Fourie
Cons: Visser 7
Tries: Venter, Kuyadi, Stander
Yellow card: Dewald Theron (Leopards, 64 mins – foul play; neck roll)
Pumas: 1 Sipho Nzotho, 2 Chyle van Zyl (captain), 3 Marthinus Oosthuizen, 4 Grant van Leeuwen, 5 Jackson Madiba, 6 Michelson Mkwanzi, 7 Xavier Fourie, 8 Frans Stander, 9 Niel Henning, 10 Martin Venter, 11 Tristan Juries, 12 Christiaan Vlok, 13 Walker Visser, 14 Ndumiso Dludla, 15 Bobby Madonsela, 16 Edwin Till, 17 Musa Nkozi, 18 Eduan Roux, 19 Stirling Jaarse, 20 Zweli Mokoena, 21 Sanele Zungu, 22 Khyle Visagie, 23 Lunga Makainge.
Leopards: 1 Maobi Khosa, 2 Dewald Theron, 3 De Wet de Villiers, 4 André Rossouw (captain), 5 Owen Bestbier, 6 Junior Thale, 7 Casper Claasse, 8 Goodwin Nchocho, 9 Jacques Stander, 10 Isrome Phatudi, 11 Xhokile Manalisi, 12 Lance Meintjies, 13 Bhine Gomolemo, 14 Botshelo Kuyadi, 15 Ruben Oosthuizen, 16 TK Keetse, 17 Stefan van Graan, 18 Beat Diole, 19 Themba Makamu, 20 Louis Viviers, 21 Refentse Maobi, 22 Wimpie Venter, 23 Ashley Madube.
Referee: Paul Mente
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Talent Gandiwa
TMO: Paul Larter (Scotland)