Pumas snatch victory from Leopards
July 15, 2016

A try on the stroke of fulltime allowed the Steval Pumas to clinch a pulsating 29-27 (halftime 12-10) provincial tournament victory over the Leopards at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

The Pumas used their forward domination to good effect and replacement hooker Francois du Toit scored from a push-over try on the stroke of fulltime to hand the hosts their ninth victory of the season to move them up to third on the qualifying log.

The lead changed hands several times through a pulsating match in the North-East of the country and the Leopards had taken the lead for the fifth time when replacement forward Loftus Morrison dotted down for his second try to register a try-scoring bonus-point for the visitors. The Leopards had taken a slender three-point lead with 14 minutes left on the clock when utility back Malherbe Swart converted the try.

The Leopards had taken an early lead with a penalty from flyhalf Schalk Hugo but tighthead prop and captain, De-Jay Terblanche, scored the first try of the match after 14 minutes, which fullback Devon Williams converted to give the Pumas a four-point lead. But the Leopards struck back eight minutes later when Morris dashed over for his first try of the evening to restore their three-point advantage with Hugo adding the extra two points.

The Pumas held a slight two-point advantage at halftime after No 8 Carel Greeff barged his way over for the hosts' second try, which was unconverted.

The Leopards started the second stanza in style when left wing Jaco Hayward went over for his first try just three minutes after the restart. The Pumas though struck back immediately through right wing Tyler Fisher, who crashed over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Both sides were intent on throwing the ball around and the Leopards scored their third try as Hayward scored again to give the visitors a three-point lead. But the Pumas restored their lead just six minutes later as Greeff rumbled over the line after a dominant forward display. Replacement fullback, Justin van Staden converted to give the hosts a four-point advantage just before midway through the second half.

The Leopards weren't able to hang on to their three-point lead after Morrison's second try as Du Toit snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the Pumas walked away with five log points while the Leopards managed two points.


Steval Pumas - Tries: Carel Greeff (2), De-Jay Terblanche, Tyler Fisher, Francois du Toit; Conversions: Devon Williams, Justin van Staden.

Leopards - Tries: Loftus Morrison (2), Jaco Hayward (2); Conversions: Schalk Hugo, Malherbe Swart; Penalty: Hugo.

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