Currie Cup

Pumas down Griffons to reach Currie Cup final

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 The Pumas advanced to the First Division final after a hard-fought 37-30 win over the Griffons in Nelspruit on Friday.

The hosts scored five tries to three but only held a seven-point lead over their opponents after 52 minutes.

The Pumas made a lightning-fast start, roaring into a 14-0 lead after seven minutes with scrumhalf Shaun Venter opening the scoring and fullback Coenie van Wyk galloping 55 metres shortly afterwards.

The Griffons could have been forgiven for being shell-shocked but they kept their interest in the contest alive with two penalties from flyhalf Hansie Graaff.

The Pumas soon re-established their superiority when flank Jaco Bouwer was mauled over for an unconverted try in the 26th minute as the hosts moved into a 19-6 lead.

Graaff and opposite number JC Roos exchanged penalties before the Griffons battled their way back into contention when scrumhalf Inus Kritzinger scored.

Shortly before the break Van Wyk was yellow-carded for intentionally killing the ball but despite being a man down, the Pumas made a good start to the second half with an early Roos penalty and a try to centre Jerome Pretorius.

But the Griffons hit back in the 52nd minute when wing Shane Hancke’s try saw the visitors narrow the deficit to seven points.

But as the match entered the final quarter the Pumas took the ball through six phases before inside centre JW Jonker slid over in the right-hand corner for a converted try.

The try made sure of the win but the Griffons did manage a consolation score when replacement prop Rudi Britz rumbled over after the hooter.

Final Score Pumas (22) 37 Griffons (16) 30

Scorers

Pumas
Tries: Shaun Venter, JW Jonker, Jaco Bouwer, Coenie van Wyk, Carl Bezuidenhout
Conversions: JC Roos (3)
Penalties: Roos (2).

Griffons
Tries: Shane Hancke, Rudi Britz, Inus Kritzinger
Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3)
Penalties: Graaff (3).

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