Pumas too strong for Griffons
Gerdie Karstens
March 21, 2014

The Steval Pumas are still undefeated in the Vodacom Cup after beating the Down Touch Griffons 69-5 in an entertaining encounter in the North West Stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.

The visitors have now won three games in succession and look like a real contender for the semifinals later on in the competition. The Griffons on the other hand have now lost twice after also being bested by the GWK Griquas in Kimberley last weekend.

The Pumas also secured a bonus point against the Griffons, scoring a total of ten tries against the hosts. The latter also had more than enough opportunities to get points on the board, but they didn't look after their possession and in the end paid the price.

Both the Pumas and Griffons started the game at a frantic pace, but the hosts couldn't keep the ball in hand. Many chances at points were squandered by pointless passes that almost always lead to turnovers for the Pumas.

The Pumas thrived on the Griffons mistakes as well as their inability on defence and got on the score board first via a good try by flanker Uzair Cassiem. The latter followed up a break by the Pumas and after the visitors lost the ball backwards in the tackle, swooped on a helter skelter pass by Griffons fly half Louis Strydom to burst over.

Pumas fly half JC Roos converted and went on to kick a penalty and three more conversions in the first half, with flanker and captain, Corné Steenkamp, winger Trompie Pretorius, centre Dewald Pretorius and Springbok sevens player and winger Ruwellyn Isbel all jotting down for the visitors in the first 40 minutes.

The Pumas picked up the second half where they left of the first and Cassiem scored his second try of the afternoon when the Griffons again fell asleep on defence. Roos converted for what would be his fifth conversion of the game. The Griffons defensive line was non existent in the second half and Trompie Pretorius also scored his second of the afternoon in the 57th minute. Roos converted.

Isbel also proved his ability as a sevens player when he scored his second try of the afternoon. Isbel ran around all the Griffons defenders in what can only be described as a poor defensive effort by the hosts. Roos converted to bring his tally of points to 17 for the afternoon.

Replacement full back Tertius Maarman scored an unconverted try for the hosts just before fulltime, but it was countered by Pumas replacements Bernardo Botha and Brian Shivangu with their five pointers shortly thereafter.

Points scorers:

Steval Pumas 69 (36): Tries: Uzair Cassiem (2), Corné Steenkamp, Trompie Pretorius (2), Dewald Pretorius, Ruwellyn Isbel (2), Bernardo Botha, Brian Shivangu. Conversions: JC Roos (7), Justin van Staden. Penalties: JC Roos

Down Touch Griffons 5 (0): Try: Tertius Maarman

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