Pumas On-field Decisions Cost Them The Game

Photo Credit: Speedshots.co.za

The Lions risk in giving several youngsters an opportunity against the Pumas almost backfired. The Lions walking off the pitch with a 32-28 win.

The Pumas kicking at the poles and decisions not to attempt to convert three penalties at the end the difference. The decision from the Lions management to bring on Dameon Venter and Jannie du Plessis in the frontrow with 20 minutes to go definitely the decision that turned the game in favour of the Lions.

05:00 In wet conditions, both sides made several handling errors during the opening minutes of the game.

06:40 Simon Westraadt hooker of the Pumas went over in the corner from a line-out drive. (00-07)

12:30 Tiaan Swanepoel converted a penalty from just outside the Pumas' 22. (03-07)

16:20 Tiaan Swanepoel slots a monster penalty of 56m to close the gap to just 1 point. (06-07)

18:58 Eddie Fouche converts a penalty for the Pumas. (06-10)

With 20 minutes gone in the match, the Pumas' forwards may just have the edge while the rest of the match very even at that stage.

36:00 Eddie Fouche took advantage of the Lions lack of discipline and converted his 3rd penalty (06-13)

38:00 The Lions scored their first try of the match after a piece of individual brilliance from scrumhalf Morne van den Berg. (13-13)

Although the score was level at halftime the Pumas confidence grew during the last 20 minutes of the first half. They refused two attempts to convert a penalty and elected to go for the corner. Pumas still have the edge up front and on the ground, however, the backs of the Lions are threatening to run riot.

45:37 Tiaan Swanepoel converted another penalty, stretching the Lions the lead for the first time of the match. (16-13)

37:56 Eddie Fouche level the scores. (16-16)

49:50 Tiaan Swanepoel put Lions in the front with a converted penalty. (19-16)

54:43 Tiaan Swanepoel on target again. (22-16)

57:25 The Pumas scored their second try of the match after a lineout drive following a penalty. AJ le Roux going over with the ball in hand. (22-21)

The Pumas dominance and confidence grew the first 20 minutes of the second half with Dameon Venter and Jannie du Plessis' coming on as replacements for the Lions in the front row to counter the Pumas scrum dominance.

64:20 Ali Mgijima scored the Pumas third try of the match to give the Pumas the lead again. (22-28)

67:47 The Lions struck back immediately when MJ Pelser scored under the poles after a dominant 5m scrum by the Lions. (29-28)

78:26 Tiaan Swanepoel converted his sixth penalty to extend their lead to 32-28 which was also the final score.

The Pumas might have deserved to win but their decisions on the field when points were on offer their downfall.

Pumas: Tries: Simon Westraadt, AJ le Roux, Ali Mgijima. Conversion: Eddie Fouche, Ginter Smuts. Penalties: Eddie Fouche (3)
Lions: Trries: Morne van den Berg, MJ Pelser. Conversion: Tiaan Swanepoel (2). Penalty: Tiaan Swanepoel (9)

Lions: 15. EW Viljoen, 14. Prince Nkabinde, 13. Manuel Rass, 12. James Mollentze, 11. Divan Rossouw; 10. Tiaan Swanepoel, 9. Morné van den Berg, 8. Francke Horn, 7. Roelof Smit, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 5. Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4. Emmanuel Tshituka, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. PJ Botha, 1. Nathan McBeth. Replacements: 16. Dameon Venter, 17. Banele Mthenjane, 18. Jannie du Plessis, 19. Ruhan Straeuli, 20. MJ Pelser, 21. Dillon Smit, 22. Luke Rossouw, 23. Ngia Selengbe, 24. Ruan Dreyer, 25. Izan Esterhuizen, 26. Sibusiso Sangweni.

NNC Pumas: 15. Devon Williams. 14. Luther Obi, 13. Alwayno Visagie, 12. Wayne van der Bank, 11. Etienne Taljaard, 10. Eddie Fouche, 9. Giovan Snyman, 8. Willie Engelbrecht, 7. Ewart Potgieter, 6. Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (c), 4. Brandon Valentyn, 3. Ig Prinsloo, Simon Westraadt, 1, Morgan Piek. Replacements: 16. AJ le Roux, 17. Liam Hendricks, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19. Le Roux Roets, 20. Kwanda Dimaza, 21. Ginter Smuts, 22. Ali Mgijima, 23. Tapiwa Mafura.