Pumas fight-back seals narrow win
May 27, 2016

The Steval Pumas overturned a 16-point deficit as they completed an entertaining 29-26 (halftime 10-21) win over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in their provincial tournament match at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The Pumas had seemed out of the contest as they trailed by 16 points after 54 minutes. But the visitors were not to be denied and they fought back with tries from replacement lock Jannie Stander and replacement loose forward Brian Shabangu to narrow the gap to four points after 67 minutes.

Replacement wing Tyler Fisher then completed the fine comeback when he dotted down for a converted try with just two minutes left in the contest to seal the win.

The victory saw the Pumas leapfrog Free State and move to third place on the log with both teams playing their part in an entertaining clash as they ran in four tries apiece in front of a small crowd of 372 people.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 10th minute when tighthead prop Johan Coetzee rumbled over for a converted try.

However, the Pumas fought their way back into the contest seven minutes later when outside centre Hoffman Maritz ran through his way over for a converted score.

But the rest of the half belonged almost exclusively to the home team and they eased to a 21-10 lead at the break thanks to converted tries from outside centre Tertius Kruger and right wing Lorenzo Gordon despite flank Tienie Burger being yellow-carded four minutes before halftime.

Free State added to their lead in the 54th minute when hooker Joseph Dweba barged his way over for an unconverted try.

Free State could have been forgiven for thinking that they had the match sewn up holding a 26-10 lead but they had no answer to the Pumas’ devastating finish.


Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Johan Coetzee, Tertius Kruger, Lorenzo Gordon, Joseph Dweba; Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (3).

Steval Pumas – Tries: Hoffman Maritz, Jannie Stander, Brian Shabangu, Tyler Fisher; Conversions: Justin van Staden (3); Penalty: Van Staden.

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