Puma-Woema prevails in Currie Cup

Captain Hennie Skorbinski scored one of 6 Pumas tries, in the 65-minute of the clash between the Steval Pumas and Golden Lions at Mbombela Stadium today
Photo: Andre Meintjes

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Mbombela Stadium braced itself for the latest instalment in the ongoing catfight between the Steval Pumas and the visiting Xerox Golden Lions. This instalment was the opening match of the Currie Cup Premier Division for both teams.
It was always going to be a humdinger, and with 34 points scored in the first 20 minutes of the game, the crowd knew they were in for a serious game of rugby.

The Steval Pumas were the first to bother the scorers when Justin van Staden slotted a penalty in the 3rd minute, 3-0.
The Xerox Golden Lions hit right back with a try, converted by Shaun Reynolds, 3-7.
It took the Steval Pumas only two minutes to return the favour. Gerrit Smith scoring and Justin van Staden converting, 10-7.
3 minutes later, Shaun Reynolds kicked a penalty to level the scores, 10-10.

As testament to the ding-dong nature of the game, both teams would score within 3 minute intervals, the Xerox Golden Lions with a converted try in the 14th minute, 17-10, and the Steval Pumas courtesy of a 17th minute Nardus van der Walt try, converted by Justin van Staden, 17-17.

Both teams tightened up their defences and it would be 16 minutes before Francois Kleinhans scored a try, converted by Justin van Staden in the 33rd minute to give the home team a 24-17 advantage at halftime.

The start of the second half echoed the start of the match, with Bradley Thain scoring for the Xerox Golden Lions in the 42nd minute. Shaun Reynolds was on hand to convert, 24-24. Jerome Pretorius saw yellow for the hosts in the 50th minute. The one-man disadvantage did not deter them and Justin van Staden scored a converted try within minutes, 31-24. Aphiwe Dyanti hit straight back with a try for the Xerox Golden Lions. The conversion sailed wide, 31-29.
The visitors kept the momentum going and scored another converted try 4 minutes later, 31-36.

Hennie Skorbinski scored shortly after, Justin van Staden converted, and at 38-36, with 15 minutes to play, the game was finely poised.

Gerrit Smith tipped the scales in favour of the home-team with his 2nd try 2 minutes later. The conversion was wide of the mark, as was a penalty a few moments later, but it took the scoreboard to the final score of 43-36.
Steval Pumas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg said it was a good game and that the players gave absolutely everything.
They put their bodies on the line today, for that I am thankful and respect the effort given. We made life hard for ourselves though as we didn’t look after the ball well enough at times and coughed up possession too easily. With a team like the lions you need to be able to keep the ball for a decent period of time. But the players really wanted to play well and I think that pressure resulted in some impulsiveness evident, which happens. We will take a lot of good out of this match as there were certainly some great touches out there, but at the same time, we realize there is always work to do so that we can improve." said Janse van Rensburg

Justin Van Staden scored 18 points for the Steval Pumas to win a 43 v 36 win against the Golden Lions at Mbombela Stadium today
Photo: Andre Meintjes

Steval Pumas wen naelbyt-stryd
Die Steval Pumas se eerste Curriebeker-wedstryd teen die Xerox Goue Leeus het Sondagmiddag in die Mbombela-stadion afgespeel. Terwyl dit welbekend is dat ‘n kat nege lewens het, blyk dit dat 'n katgeveg ook heelwat lewens het.
Na ‘n naelbyt stryd, kon die Steval Pumas uiteindelik hul eerste oorwinning van die seisoen oor hul Gauteng opponente voor ‘n waarderende skare beklink.

Die wedstryd het in hoogste versnelling begin, met 34 punte wat in die eerste 20 minute aangeteken is.
Hanteer foute deur beide spanne het die drieë-fees effens hokgeslaan voordat die Steval Pumas nog ‘n drie kon aanteken om ‘n 7-punt voordeel te geniet teen halftyd.

Die tweede helfte het kliphard begin, met die spanne wat gereeld die voorsprong geruil het. Na 80 minute se opwindende Curriebeker-rugby het die Steval Pumas as wenners van die veld gedraf.

Gerrit Smith, Nardus van der Walt, Francois Kleinhans, Justin van Staden, en Hennie Skorbinski het almal vir die tuisspan in die doelgebied gaan kuier, met Smith se tweede drie wat uiteindelik die eindtelling van 43-36 bewerkstellig het.
Die betroubare Justin van Staden het 5 doelskoppe en ‘n strafskop bygevoeg.

Vir die Xerox Goue Leeus het Stokkies Hannekom, Shaun Reynolds, Bradley Thain, Aphiwe Dyanti, en Ashlon Davids almal vir die besoekers gedruk, terwyl Shaun Reynolds sy kant gebring het met 4 doelskoppe en ‘n strafskop.
Dit was so amper-amper of een van die losskakels het Frik du Preez se beroemde vertoning, soos deur Mof Myburg beskryf is, geewenaar, maar vandag was nie die dag nie.

Dit was wel ‘n welverdiende oorwinning vir die Steval Pumas, en ‘n droom, bonuspunt, begin vir hul Curriebeker-seisoen.
Brent Janse van Rensburg, afrigter van die Steval Pumas, het gesê dit was n goeie wedstryd en dat sy spelers hul kant gebring het.
"Hulle het met hart en siel gespeel, ek is daarvoor dankbaar en respekteer hul toewyding. Ons het die spel vir onsself moeilik gemaak omdat ons soms nie ons balbesit goed genoeg opgepas het nie en te maklik besit omgekeer het. Teen 'n span soos die Xerox Goue Leeus moet jy die bal vir lang periodes behou. Maar die spelers wou werklik goed speel en ek dink daardie druk het soms die impulsiewe besluite veroorsaak. So is die lewe. Ons sal baie plus-punte uit hierdie wedstryd neem, want daar was definitief wonderlike oomblikke in die wedstryd, terselfdetyd besef ons ook dat daar altyd werk is wat gedoen kan word om te verbeter," het Janse van Rensburg gesê.

SCORERS
PUMAS
Tries: Gerrit Smith (2), Nardus van der Walt (1), Francois Kleinhans (1), Justin van Staden (1), Hennie Skorbinski (1)
Conversions: Justin van Staden (5)
Penalties: Justin van Staden (1)

LIONS
Tries: Stokkies Hannekom (1), Shaun Reynolds (1), Bradley Thain (1), Aphiwe Dyanti (1), Ashlon Davids (1)
Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (4)
Penalties: Shaun Reynolds (1)

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