Pumas face Eagles in Currie Cup 1st Division final

The Pumas will play the SWD Eagles in the Currie Cup First Division final in Witbank after they defeated the Mighty Elephants 31-18 on Friday.

The Eagles booked their place in the finale following their 31-18 win over the defending champions, the Griffons, in George.

The Eagles played an exciting high-tempo game with some attractive running, rugby in their playoff match at Outeniqua Park. Man of the match flyhalf Ricardo Croy was in excellent form with the boot and linked well between the forward and backs.

Henry Grimes, Wayne Bennett and Giant Mtyanda were the try-scorers for the hosts while Croy, who kicked three penalties, slotted one conversion as did Norman Nelson.

The only other points for the Eagles was thanks to a superb left-footed drop goal by captain and fullback Bevin Fortuin. The Griffons managed to score three tries in this semi-final match, two of them being scored late in the second half.

Former Valke scrumhalf Gerrie Odendaal added a brace of tries while former Golden Lions centre Thabang Molefe ran in their third try of the evening. Griffons flyhalf, Kennedy Tsimba kicked one penalty.

In the other semi-final match on Friday, the Pumas secured themselves a home final following their win over the Elephants at a wet Pumas Stadium in Witbank.

Rainy conditions made it difficult for both teams to play an open, running game of rugby. However, the hosts were positive in their approach and attacked their opponents’ defenders regularly throughout the match.

As a result, Hannes Franklin, Jacques Coetzee and De-Jay Terblanche scored tries for the Pumas. Winger Braam Pretorius kicked four penalties and two penalties.

Former Springbok centre and Mighty Elephants skipper De Wet Barry and Warren Whiteley were the try-scorers for the visitors.

Fullback Carl Bezuidenhout kicked one conversion while flyhalf Wesley Dunlop kicked a penalty for the Port Elizabeth side. While both teams prepare for Friday night’s final, they will also play a series of promotion/relegation matches later this month.

Their opponents will be the Boland Cavaliers and Platinum Leopards respectively.

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