Pumas shock Sharks in Currie Cup opener

The Pumas started their 2015 Currie Cup season with a shock 33-24 over the
Sharks at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium on Friday, sending an early warning
to all teams.

The Mpumalanga-based side did extremely well to weather the Sharks’ attempt
at getting back into contention for the win, but in the end the damage caused
during the fist half proved to be too much for Gary Gold’s men.

It was a case of all-out attack by the Pumas in the opening stages of the encounter
and, as expected, scrum-half Faf de Klerk ensured that his runners received
the ball on the front foot through his outstanding ball distribution.

Initially the two sides opted to use the boot to gain field advantage, but the
Sharks soon discovered that their aerial game was inferior to that of their

While the Sharks struggled to get going – their set piece play was not
up to scratch – the home side continued to pile-on the pressure and were
eventually rewarded when skipper Stefan Watermeyer dived over for their first

Roos would then nail a long-range penalty from a scrum to take his team 10-points

The pivot put three more points through the posts before the Sharks managed
to get on the scoreboard – flyhalf Lionel Cronje finishing off a solid
run by flank Khaya Majola.

In what can be seen as the turning point of the match, flanker Marnus Schoeman
pierced through the Sharks defensive line to score from 20 metres out in what
is likely to be the most memorable try of his career.

The Pumas were in an unforgiving mood and their quick ball distribution contributed
to Schoeman’s second five-pointer of the evening as he dotted down from
a rolling-maul that saw the Sharks pack retreat no less than 20 metres.

Control remained with the home side for the rest of the first-half, while the
visitors knew they would have to improve their ball retention.

The Sharks started the second half with renewed vigour and scored less than
a minute after the break – they would also deny the hosts a try in the

From a period of dominance, prop Dale Chadwick went on a bursting run to put
his team in a good scoring position from where centre Heimar Williams rounded-off
under the posts.

Replacement Daniel du Preez ensured that his team had a shot heading into the
final quarter of the match but, through some outstanding defensive play, the
Pumas managed to weather the storm.

Roos kept the scoreboard ticking when it mattered and his tactical kicking was
spot on as well.

This ensured that coach MJ Mentz started his Currie Cup coaching career on a
winning note.

Final Score Pumas 33 (27) Sharks 24 (7)


Tries: Marnus Schoeman (2), Stefan Watermeyer.
Penalties JC Roos (4),
Conversions: Roos (3).
Penalties Roos (3).

Tries: Lionel Cronje, Heimar Williams, Daniel du Preez.
Conversions: Joe Pietersen (3).
Penalties: Pietersen

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