Defending champions, the Pumas stay unbeaten in 2023 after they beat Griquas in Nelspruit on Friday in a repeat of final season’s Currie Cup ultimate.

Main 7-3 at half time after a tightly-contested first 40 minutes, the hosts survived a yellow card to flyhalf Tinus de Beer after the break and scored three tries in a hard-fought 28-13 victory.

The Pumas received final yr’s ultimate 26-19 in Kimberley, which was their solely victory in three makes an attempt in opposition to the lads from the Northern Cape in 2022.

On Friday, tries from Griquas lock Derik Pretorius and Pumas left wing Lundi Msenge had been overturned after TMO evaluations inside a helter-skelter opening 20 minutes, and the scoreboard remained 0-0 till the closing levels of the primary half. 

Pumas No 14 Etienne Taljaard touched down below the posts to interrupt the impasse, after fullback Devon Williams’ well-executed cross-kick to the appropriate edge discovered exterior centre Diego Appollis, whose neat chip-kick arrange Taljaard. 

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De Beer added the extras, but reverse quantity Lubabalo Dobela narrowed the hole to 4 factors from the kicking tee earlier than each groups headed into the change rooms.

Dobela struck once more from in entrance of the sticks quickly after the restart to make it a one-point recreation, and Griquas then had a one-man benefit after De Beer acquired 10 minutes on the naughty chair for a tip-tackle on winger Luther Obi.

However, the guests didn’t capitalise on their one-man benefit, with De Beer returning within the ultimate quarter to separate the uprights 3 times and add to tries from substitute Brandon Thomson and flanker Andre Fouche, sandwiched between a comfort effort from Griquas No 8 Carl Els.

The Pumas will subsequent be in motion away to the Free State Cheetahs on Friday, whereas Griquas face Western Province in Cape City on Saturday.

Photograph: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Photographs

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