Pumas book spot in final
July 07, 2018

The iCollege Pumas produced a telling second-half performance to beat the Cell C Sharks 30-17 (halftime 10-10) in their SuperSport Rugby Challenge semifinal clash at Mbombela stadium, in Nelspruit, on Friday.

As semifinals go, this was a tight encounter throughout the first half, but it was the Pumas who kept their cool and made the most of their opportunities in the second to clinch a deserved victory.

The win ensured the Pumas will now square up against the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal between Tafel Lager Griquas and Toyota Free State XV for the honour of being crowned 2018 champions.

The Pumas made a swift start to the match as left wing Ruwellyn Isbell displayed good speed to score in the second minute of the game. Flyhalf Chris Smith, who had a decent game with the boot, converted.

But the Sharks were level minutes later as lock Gideon Koegelenberg crashed over and No 10 Garth April added the extra two points.

Flyhalves April and Smith then traded penalties and the teams went into halftime deadlocked at 10-10.

Straight after the break, Smith landed another penalty for the Pumas before the Sharks notched up their second try of the game through flank Kwanda Dimaza. Replacement flyhalf Danrich Visagie made no mistake with the conversion.

At that stage the Sharks led 17-13 but from then on it was all the Pumas as they used their home advantage to great effect.

First Smith narrowed the gap with his third penalty, and with 12 minutes remaining the Pumas went ahead again as replacement prop De-Jay Terblanche bundled his way over. Smith added the points from the tee.

The Pumas then wrapped matters up with a final try by scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer and Smith was again on target with the conversion to finish with 15 points on the day.


iCollege Pumas: Tries: Ruwellyn Isbell, De-Jay Terblanche, Stefan Ungerer; Conversions: Chris Smit (3); Penalties: Chris Smith (3)

Cell C Sharks XV: Tries: Gideon Koegelenberg, Kwanda Dimaza; Conversions: Garth April, Danrich Visagie; Penalties: Garth April

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