The western province was forced to work hard but managed to capitalize on a good first-half performance to seal a 23-17 (20-10 at half-time) Currie Cup victory over the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Friday night.
It was a bizarre end to the match as the Pumas sent a big downstream kick and when the province fielded the ball in their 22m spotlight they went out, with only 40 seconds remaining on the clock, however in the dark the guests are been penalized for the failure.
Once the lights came back on a few minutes later, the Pumas kicked the corner for a 5-meter throw-in and after working a few stages, Province managed to turn the ball and free to end the match.
Overall it was a match of missed chances for the hosts who improved considerably in the second half but failed to finish a slew of chances they worked out in the final moments.
It wasn’t even a night for kickers as Pumas opener Eddie Fouche only got one hit in five, while provincial opener Tim Swiel managed to convert three of his six kicks into brings.
Swiel founds Masimla
It was a back and forth first half that started with the home team having a first chance to get on the scoreboard, but Fouche missed the second-minute penalty.
The guests then took control of the match at 10th minute in which a magical play by Swiel saw him counterattack with a chip and chase, before his discharge found scrum-half Godlen Masimla to sprint and score under the posts, taking them 7-0.
Five minutes later, the province found itself deep within the Puma territory again, with their maul stopped shortly before, causing the Neethling Fouche propeller to crash from close range for an unconverted goal.
The Pumas then responded with two tries on either side of a Province penalty, first after a brilliant 50/22 by winger Devon Williams gave the home team a 5m line, from which they roared a maul with the hooker Eduan Swart who dotted down on the back.
The second try came from another lineout in the 22m province, with the Pumas opening the lineout intelligently, allowing prop Corne Fourie to take the ball and power, bringing the score 15-10 later 28 minutes.
The province then went to the third attempt in 31S. minute when right winger Sergeal Petersen grabbed a loose ball in the Pumas 22m to go further for another unconverted score, with the visitors taking the 20-10 lead at half-time.
The Pumas therefore started the second half well and had several chances to score, but were held back by the valiant defense of Provinces.
Scrum-half Chriswill September finally cut the short side of a scrum in the 22m depth of the Province, and reached out to aim, with Fouche pinning his first kick of the night.
Directly from kick-off, Province received a penalty, which Swiel converted to give them breathing room at 23-17 after 62 minutes, but then missed a long-range opportunity a few minutes later, as no more points were scored. in the match.
Puma: Proof – Eduan Swart, Corne Fourie, Chriswill September; Conversions: Eddie Fouche
Western Province: Tries – Godlen Masimla, Neethling Fouche, Sergeal Petersen; Conversion: Tim Swiel; Penalties – Swiel (2)