Currie Cup

Sharks hold off Pumas in Currie Cup friendly

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New Pumas winger Braam Pretorius nearly dug a grave for the visiting Sharks in Witbank on Friday night.

At the end the tombstone read: Sharks 44 Pumas 35. Pretorius, who played only his second game for the Pumas, scored 27 points, which included six penalties, a try and two conversions.

The rest of the home side’s points were scored by Doppies le Roux, who crashed over for a try, and a drop goal by flyhalf Valentine van Wyk.

The Sharks scored five goals but had to dig deep to stay ahead of the marauding Pumas who were trailing 34-29 with 10 minutes to go and the game balanced on a knife edge.

In a strange twist of fate, the decisive Sharks try in the 81st minute was scored by scrumhalf Charl McLeod, whose father lives in Witbank next to Pumas chief executive Arrie Myburg.

The winning margin of nine points was the biggest difference between the two teams during the match. Rory Kockott got the scoreboard rolling with a second minute penalty, but Valintine van Wyk equalled the scores with his drop kick in the ninth.

Fullback Chris Jordaan scored the first of the Sharks’ tries after a quarter of an hour, which Kockott converted for a 10-3 lead. In the 24th minute the Pretorius show started when he kicked his first penalty.

He added another two minutes later to close the gap tp 10-9. A Jean Deysel try increased the Sharks’ lead to 17-10 after 32 minutes, but two minutes later the Pumas were back within a point after Le Roux’s try, converted by Pretorius.

The Pumas enjoyed a short-lived 19-17 lead shortly before the break, and Pretorius kicked another penalty before Jacques Botes scored on the stroke of half-time to put his team ahead 24-19.

Seven minutes after the restart Pretorius put the Pumas ahead again with his try, which he converted before Botes finally put the Sharks 31-26 ahead five minutes later.

A Kockott penalty increased the lead to 34-26 before Pretorius kicked two penalties in the 62nd and 66th minutes to chip away at the lead. He and Patrick Lambie then traded penalties. With seconds left McLeod scored a try to secure victory for the Sharks.

Final Score Sharks 44 Pumas 35

Scorers:

Sharks:
Tries: Jacques Botes (2), Chris Jordaan, Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod.
Conversions: Rory Kockott (4), Patrick Lambie.
Penalties: Kockott (2), Lambie.

Pumas:
Tries: Braam Pretorius, Doppies le Roux.
Conversions: Pretorius (2).
Penalties: Pretorius (6).
Drop goal: Valentine van Wyk.

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