Currie Cup

Pumas promoted to Currie Cup Premier division

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The Northern Unions flexed their muscles in Witbank on Friday next when they gained promotion to the Top 8 of the Currie Cup in trouncing the Boland Cavaliers 40-3.

The result means that all the Northern Unions bar the Valke will play in the Premier Division next season.

The Pumas broke the stranglehold which Boland have had on them in play-off matches in recent years, losing twice to the Cavaliers in 2007 and narrowly in Wellington last Saturday.

It was a night to remember for Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse who signalled the end of the Boland’s A-section funeral when he was allowed to activate the siren to signal the end of the game.

The Pumas started like a house on fire with flanker Jaco Bouwer scoring a try in the opening minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the first half.

It was also a memorable night for Bouwer – one of the better fetchers in SA rugby – who successfully helped the Leopards to promotion last season.

The Pumas scored three further tries by lock Marius Coetzer, flanker Pieter Meyer and fullback MJ Mentz in the first half to gain their bonus point before the break.

The Boland staged a mini fight back by not allowing the Pumas to score in the first 20 minutes of the second half before Mentz again cut the Boland defence to ribbons to set up a score for the impressive outside centre Shaun Venter.

Flyhalf Tiaan Marx had the last laugh when he ran through unchallenged after a break by reserve flanker Corné Steenkamp.

Coach Stonehouse and his Pumas side, and none more so than scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee, deserves their promotion to the big league. Coetzee was again the star performer for the grey jerseys on a night when everything they touched turned to gold.

And Witbank proved to be Chester Williams’ graveyard once again after a disastrous season with the grey jerseys two seasons ago when they failed to gain promotion.

Final Score Pumas 40 Boland Cavaliers 3

Scorers:

Pumas:
Tries: Jaco Bouwer, Marius Coetzer, Pieter Meyer, MJ Mentz, Shaun Venter, Tiaan Marx.
Conversions: Braam Pretorius (5).

Boland:
Penalty: Justin Peach

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