Pumas give Bulls a rugby lesson
MATCH REPORT: The Pumas recorded a rare and historic 44-14 victory over table-topping Bulls on Sunday.
The Pumas outscored the Bulls six tries to two in very hot and humid conditions in Nelspruit.
Flyhalf Devon Williams scored a two of his team’s tries, Luther Obi, Etienne Taljaard, Willie Engelbrecht, and Daniel Maartens were the other scorers for Jimmy Stonehouse’s men.
*As it happened: Pumas v Bulls
While the result does not have any effect on the competition given the Bulls sealed the top spot on the standings with a mid-week win over Lions, it was certainly a morale boost for the Pumas.
The men from Nelspruit last recorded a win over the Bulls in 2011.
It was not a full-strength Bulls side as their match squad featured only a few regular starters for this final round clash and the gap was exposed by a fired-up Pumas outfit.
Their first-half effort was exceptional as the home side proved their experienced by outscoring the visitors five tries to one for a 34-7 halftime lead.
Former Junior Springbok wing Luther Obi was on hand to take an inside pass to score their first try from turnover possession and with their tails firmly up, the Pumas pounced menacingly to score four more tries as they raced into a commanding and match-winning lead at the break.
Left-wing Etienne Taljaard dotted down out wide following a slick move and he was followed by flyhalf Devon Williams who gathered his own chip kick to score under the posts for a delightful solo effort.
No.8 Willie Engelbrecht was next over the line, for try number four inside the opening 20 minutes of play, and he was followed over the whitewash by openside flank Daniel Maartens, who was on hand for a final Obi offload.
The visitors eventually got onto the scoreboard in the 31st minute through hooker Joe van Zyl, who grabbed his first try on his Currie Cup debut, to reduce the deficit to 31-7.
Scrumhalf Ginter Smuts kept the scoreboard ticking with a successful penalty goal five minutes before the break to stretch their advantage to 34-7.
He repeated the process five minutes after the break.
Bulls centre Dawid Kellerman scored their second try when he powered his way through midfield, with fullback Clinton Swart adding the extras (34-14).
However, the home side was firmly in control and Williams, who had a good game directing play from flyhalf, completed his brace midway through the second half.
Smuts was again on target with his conversion as the Pumas increased their tally to 44-14 for a very good end to what was a very challenging season.
Man of the match: The Pumas were absolutely amazing. Their pack were solid and dominated the line-outs and scrums. While in the backline Devon Williams continued to dictate much of the play and scored a brace of tries. However, for his impressive work at the breakdown and a couple of big tackles along with a try of his own, our nod goes to Pumas flank Daniel Maartens.
Tries: Obi, Taljaard, Williams 2, Engelbrecht, Maartens,
Cons: Smuts 4
Pens: Smuts 2
Tries: J Van Zyl, Kellerman,
Cons: Steyn, Swart
Pumas: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Devon Williams, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Eduan Swart, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Giovan Snyman, 21 Tiaan Botes, 22 Sebastian de Klerk, 23 Liam Hendricks.
Bulls: 15 Clinton Swart, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Dawid Kellerman, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Arno Botha (captain), 6 WJ Steenkamp, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 2 Joe van Zyl, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Divan Venter, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Kabelo Mokoena, 23 Jay-Cee Nel.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge. AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff
*Additional source: SA Rugby
Photo credit: Johan Orton