NEWS ARTICLES
Pumas remain unbeaten
Mark Salter
MWP
August 16, 2013

The Steval Pumas kept their unbeaten record intact with a determined fightback to edge out EP Kings 33-32 (8-13) their Currie Cup first division match at Mbombela Stadium on Friday night.

RW Kember, the 30-year-old No 8, snatched his third try in added time to break the Kings’ hearts as they looked to make up ground on the runaway log leaders. The visitors had led 25-11 well into the second half with a four-try spree, and securing a bonus point, before Kember prised open the defence, scoring the first of his tries.

It was bitterly disappointing result for the Kings, who rolled out the big guns from their Super Rugby campaign. Only three members of the team that had narrowly beaten the Border Bulldogs 9-6 last week were retained in the run-on side.

Apart from the incentive of prize money announced last week, there was also the hint that the Currie Cup premier division would be expanded to eight teams next year, and the Kings, deeply hurt by the loss of their Super Rugby status, desperately need to be in the higher division to give their players greater challenge and incentive.

But the Pumas have made all the running in the division so far and were not going to surrender without a fight. They were fortunate to trail by just five points at halftime, for Scott van Breda missed the conversions of his own try and that of Michael Killian, as well as a penalty, to which the Pumas had answered with a try by hooker Jacques Momberg and a penalty by Carl Bezuidenhout.

They came out with greater purpose in the second half and spread the ball wide at every opportunity. They stuck to their adventurous game plan even when tries by Steven Sykes and ‘Tiger’ Mangweni helped to expand the gap to 25-11.

That’s when Kember broke through, and a conversion and penalty by Bezuidenhout brought the score to 25-21. Nick Vergallo added a fifth try for the Kings, but Kember hit back soon after with his second, cutting the gap to 32-28.

The Pumas were never going to be satisfied with a losing bonus point, so with time running out, they opted to put a penalty to the lineout, and from there they battered away at the Kings’ line relentlessly. The siren sounded, but still they went through the phases until at last a gap opened for the rugged No 8.

For the Kings, two bonus points was scant consolation.

SCORERS

Steval Pumas – Tries: Jacques Momberg, RW Kember (3); conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (2); penalties Bezuidenhout (3)

EP Kings — Tries: Michael Killian, Scott van Breda, Steven Sykes, Siyabonga Mangweni, Nicholas Vergallo; conversions: George Whitehead (2); penalty: Van Breda

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, July 20 2019
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Saturday, July 27 2019
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, August 10 2019
00:00 - Argentina vs South Africa
Castle Lager Incoming Series
Saturday, August 17 2019
17:05 - South Africa vs Argentina
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
RWC Warm-up game
Friday, September 06 2019
00:00 - Japan vs South Africa
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama
Rugby World Cup
Saturday, September 21 2019
11:45 - South Africa vs New Zealand
International Stadium, Yokohama
Saturday, September 28 2019
11:45 - South Africa vs Namibia
City of Toyota Stadium
Friday, October 04 2019
11:45 - South Africa vs Italy
Shizuoka Stadium
Tuesday, October 08 2019
12:15 - South Africa vs Canada
Kobe Misaki Stadium

Copyright - SA Rugby. All Rights Reserved - Photos by Gallo Images