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Pumas come close to log leader upset - 8 September 2017

Ruwellyn Isbell scored the 1st try in the 1st 3-minutes of the clash between the Pumas and Sharks at Mbombela Stadium
Photo: Andre & Erna Meintjes

The Pumas came within a whisker of beating Currie Cup log leaders, the Sharks, at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium on Friday afternoon, going down 25-27 to the coastal side.
The Giant Killing Pumas have beaten both the Lions and Blue Bulls at Fort Mbombela and were only beaten in the final straight by the Sharks when reserve fullback Rhyno Smith scored the winning try after a possible forward pass.
The Pumas were in it to win it and an early try by left winger Ruwellyn Isbell and a penalty goal by Kobus Marais gave them a 8-0 lead but the Sharks fought back with two tries by Jeremy Ward and S’busiso Nkosi for a 15-8 lead at the break.
The Pumas took advantage of their numerical advantage after the break when both Akker van der Merwe and Jacques Vermeulen were sin-binned shortly before half-time.
Two tries, first by the flyer JP Lewis and then captain Hennie Skorbinski gave the Pumas a healthy lead and when Keegan Daniels went in with his forearm at the back of Skorbinski’s head Marais' penalty from the halfway line gave the Pumas a definite chance of beating the Sharks.
Sharks reserve flanker Wian Vosloo scored from a driving maul which set-up Smith’s try after a floater from Garth April.
Pumas flanker Chris Cloete was immense at the break-down and Thembelani Bohli and Stefan Willemse carried the ball strong. The three players again proved to be huge acquisitions.
Pumas: Tries: Ruwellyn Isbell, JP Lewis, Hennie Skorbinski. Conversions: Kobus Marais (2). Penalties: Marais (2).
Sharks: Tries: S’busiso Nkosi, Jeremy Ward, Wian Vosloo, Rhyno Smith. Conversions: Curwin Bosch, Garth April. Penalty: Bosch.
Die Steval Pumas het binne n haarbreedte daarvan gekom om die voorste span in die Curriebeker, die Sharks, Vrydagmiddag in die Mbombela-stadion bloedneus te slaan toe hulle net-net 27-25 verloor het.

Die Pumas, leeutemmers wat al met die Leeus en die Blou Bulle in Fort Mbombela afgereken het, is net in die laaste pylvak deur die Sharks verslaan toe hul plaasvervanger Rhyno Smith die wendrie gedruk het na wat soos n vorentoe aangee gelyk het.
n Vroee drie deur Ruwellyn Isbel en n strafdoel deur Kobus Marais het die tuisspan vroeg laat voorloop maar die Sharks het terugbaklei met twee driee deur Jeremy Ward en S'busiso Nkosi wat hulle 15-8 laat voorloop het.
Die Pumas het voordeel geput uit hul numeriese voordeel na die breek toe beide Akker van der Merwe en Jacques Vermeulen af is met geelkaarte kort voor halftyd.
Twee driee, eers deur JP Lewis en toe kaptein Hennie Skorbinski het aan die Pumas n goeie voorsprong verleen en toe Keegan Daniel vir Skorbinski teen die agterkop gestamp het tydens sy drie, het Marais se strafdoel die tuisspan n lans gegee om die Sharks te klop.
Die Pumas se Chris Cloete was weer n doring in t die besoekers se vlees en Thembelani Bohli en Stefan Willemse het die bal syerk gedra.