Pumas get first Currie Cup first division win

Flyhalf Elgar Watts led the newly promoted Pumas to their first victory in the Currie Cup premier division, scoring 27 of his side’s points as they secured a 37-32 win over the Leopards at the Puma Rugby Stadium in Witbank on Saturday to notch up their first points of the season.


Watts, who scored a hat-trick of tries in the first half, dotted down in the 13th and 23rd minutes, successfully converting both himself, to give his side a 14-0 lead midway through the opening stanza.


The Leopards fought back, however, with right wing Deon Scholtz putting his side on the scoreboard with a try after a chip and chase in the 29th minute.


The Pumas reacted immediately, with Watts scoring his third try in the 31st minute, but the Leopards again struck back on the counter attack.


Three minutes later wing Dumisani Matyeshana added another five points for the visitors, and flyhalf Clayton du Rand converted, narrowing the gap to 19-12 at the break.


Watts continued to stretch the lead, however, adding two penalties for the home side within the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Du Rand keeping his side in the chase by adding three points for the Leopards during the same period.


Scholtz scored his second try in the 64th minute and four minutes later right wing Alistair Kettledas added another for the hosts as the Leopards continued to fight what was looking increasingly like a losing battle.


While scrum-half Dumisani Matyeshana managed to close the gap for the visitors a minute later, Kettledas hammered the final nail in the coffin when he broke through to dot down behind the posts three minutes before the hooter, with Watts adding another conversion to his points tally.


Michael Bondesio scored a consolation bonus point try in the dying minutes, and while Du Rand converted, it wasn’t enough for the Leopards who fill bottom spot on the log with two bonus points in this early stage of the competition.


Final score Pumas 37 Leopards 32


Scorers:


Pumas:
Tries: Elgar Watts (3), Alistair Kettledas (2).
Conversions: Watts (3).
Penalties: Watts (2).

Leopards:
Tries: Deon Schultz (2), Dumisani Matyeshana, Michael Bondesio.
Conversions: Clayton du Rand (2).
Penalties: Du Rand.

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