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Pumas punish sloppy Griquas 

MATCH REPORT: The Pumas opened their 2024 Currie Cup campaign with a statement win away from home against the Griquas in Kimberley.

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In a highly anticipated clash between the two SA Cup finalists, where Griquas came out on top in May, the Pumas started the clash with the first score through Eduan Swart in the third minute to set up a 44-22 victory.

Griquas struck back through fullback Cameron Hufke in the seventh minute to level matters before fullback Stephan Coetzee struck back for the Pumas in the 13th minute with a try of his own followed by a try by centre Zwelendaba in the 17th minute which was unconverted.

The Pumas dotted down in the 20th minute again through flank Ruwald van der Merwe after a break by Coetzee.

Flyhalf Clifton Swart extended the hosts’ lead with a successful penalty after an indiscretion by flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela followed by another successful attempt at the posts for not rolling away by the Griquas.

Swart’s game management kept Griquas pinned in their own half for much of the game.

Flank Marco de Witt was yellow carded in the 35th minute for a dangerous tackle as the visitors took a 25-12 lead heading into the break.

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The hosts struck first in the second half through a try by Zwelendaba in the 42nd minute but a try by prop Etienne Janeke extended the Pumas’ lead yet again.

Pumas scrumhalf Ross Braude hit the final nail in the coffin for the Griquas in the 64th minute and for good measure, the result was secured when Swart, under penalty advantage, kicked a high ball which was regathered and dotted down by centre De-an Ackermann under the posts.

Griquas managed to secure a bonus point after Dobela got his pass away to Els who managed a linebreak before he got his pass away to replacement scrumhalf Bobby Alexander in the 79th minute.

Griquas fought hard to get another score until the 85th minute when 11 phases of hard work became undone through a turnover which ended the match.

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Scorers:

For the Griquas:
Tries: Hufke, Alexander, Zwelendaba 2
Cons: Dobela 2

For the Pumas:
Tries: E.Swart, Coetzee, Van Der Merwe, Janeke, Ackermann, Braude
Cons: Swart 4
Pens: Swart 2

Teams:

Griquas: 15 Cameron Hufke, 14 Marcqiewn Titus, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 11 Sako Makata, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Hanru Sirgel, 7 Marco de Witt, 6 Stephan Smit (captain), 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Dylan Sjoblom, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Leon Lyons
Replacements: 16 Gustav du Rand, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Cebo Dlamini, 19 Athenkosi Khetani, 20 Carl Els, 21 Bobby Alexander, 23 Lubabalo Dobela, 23 Tertius Kruger.

Pumas: 15 Stefan Coetzee, 14 Lundi Msenge, 13 De-an Ackermann, 12 Wian van Niekerk, 11 Phiko Sobahle, 10 Clinton Swart, 9 Ross Braude, 8 Kwanda Dimaza, 7 Ruwald van der Merwe, 6 Ntsika Fisanti, 5 Shane Kirkwood, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Sampie Swiegers, 2 Eduan Swart, 1 Etienne Janeke.
Replacements: 16 Darnell Osuagwu, 17 Stephan de Jager, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Deon Slabbert, 20 Marvelous Mashimbyi, 21 Richman Gora, 22 Danrich Visagie, 23 Tino Swanepoel.

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Ben Crouse

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