The Pumas kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to their 20-9 victory over the EP Kings in Nelspruit on Friday to move into fifth place on the Currie Cup log.
The hosts will regret the amount of lost opportunities as they could easily have earned the full complement of points had they finished better.
The Kings battled to find any kind of ascendancy and instead they were forced to front up defensively which they did well considering the relentless attacking by the home side.
The weather also played its part with wet and cold conditions resulting in a host of handling errors and difficult scrumming conditions.
The Kings will be satisfied with their scrums while they also did well to keep the Pumas at an arm’s length throughout the match.
It was once again Scott van Breda’s kicking boot that kept the Eastern Cape side in the match – the fullback succeeding with three penalty conversions.
His efforts with the boot were not enough to save his side and it was the Pumas that claimed a vital victory with two converted tries, while flyhalf Justin van Staden also added two penalty conversions.
The Pumas scored their first try in the 14th minute when fiery No. 8 Jason-Collin Fraser finished from the right-hand sideline. Fraser, a constant threat on the night, took advantage of an overlap stepping inside to beat Kings flyer Luther Obi to cross the whitewash.
Van Staden converted the try and added another three points after Kings flanker Thembelani Bholi was yellow-carded short of the quarter mark.
The Pumas eventually scored 10 points during Bholi’s absence with flanker Marnus Schoeman scoring their second try of the match from the back of a driving maul that emanated from a lineout.
Van Breda narrowed the deficit after 30 minutes of play with the hosts going into the half-time break with a 17-9 lead.
While the Pumas instinctively opted for the corner kick for most of the first half they quite responsibly gave the ball to Van Staden shortly after the break to return their advantage to 11 points.
Despite dominating both territory and possession the Pumas could not find the breakthrough in the second half but will be delighted to be back on the winning trail.
Pumas: Tries – Jason-Collin Fraser, Marnus Schoeman. Conversions – Justin van Staden x 2 Penalties: Van Staden (2)
EP Kings: Penalties – Scott van Breda
Ockert de Villiers – Sport24
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/kings-return-to-losing-form/53904/2015/09