Pumas narrowly miss golden opportunity - 22 September 2017

Brian Shabangu was awarded man of the match in the clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein 22 September 2017
Photo: Johan Pretorius Photography

The Pumas squandered a golden opportunity to record the best Premier Currie Cup season ever when they narrowly went down 33-32 to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday afternoon.
A fifth Currie Cup victory would have been the Pumas’ best result in South Africa’s premier domestic competition and at times it seemed that it was a forgone conclusion.
To be fair, they have had many opportunities to beat the Free State, but their efforts was not accurate enough against opponents they should have put away easily.
Two late tries by Free States flyhalf Robbie Petzer and some elusive running by fullback Clayton Blommetjies was too good for the Pumas defenders.
There were many positive signs during the match which they controlled for almost an hour, a maul try by Frankie Herne, a fine try by the hard-running winger Trompie Pretorius, a try to Willie Engelbrecht after fine inter-play with the other loose-forwards and a try by Justin van Staden which should have been the coup-de-grace.
A dropped pass by Van Staden and a foot into touch by flanker Brian Shabangu, who made up in the second half by some spirited play, eventually cost the Pumas a place into the history book, and a possible place in the competition.

Die Pumas het n goue kans om hul beste Curriebekerseisien in die Oremierliga te behaal, verspeel toe hulle Vrydagaand 33-32 teen die Vrystaat Cheetahs verloor het.
n Vyfde Curriebekeroorwinning sou die Pumas se beste vertoning in Suid Afrika se voorste plaaslike kompetisie wees en met tye het dit na n uitgemaakte saak gelyk
Om eerlik te wees het hulle baie kanse gehad om die Vrystaat te klop, maar hulle pogings was nie akkuraat genoeg nie teen teenstanders wie hulle maklik moes klop.

Twee laat driee deur die Vrystaat se losskakel Robbie Petzer en goeie aanvalle deur die heelagter Clayton Blommetjies was te goed vir die Pumas se verdedigers.
Daar was baie positiewe tekens in die wedstryd wat hulle vir meer as n uur beheer het, n dryfdrie deur Frankie Herne, n goeie drie deur Trompie Pretorius, n drie deur Willie Engelbrecht na mooi samespel tussen die losvoorspelers moes die finale spyker in die Vrystaat se kis wees.
N verlore aangee deur Justin van Staden en n voet op die lyn deur Brian Shabangu, wat daarvoor opgemaak het in die tweede helfte, het die Pumas n plek in die geskiedenisboeke gekos, en dalk n plek in die kompetisie.
Scorers:
Pumas: Tries: Frankie Herne, Trompie Pretorius, Willie Engelbrecht, Justin van Staden. Conversions: Kobus Marais (3). Penalties: Marais (2).
Free State: Tries: Robbie Petzer (2), Zee Makhabela, Cecil Afrika, Reinach Venter. Conversions: Petzer (4).

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