JC Roos kicked 16 points to lead the Steval Pumas to a 44-31 (halftime 24-14) win over the Leopards XV in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at the Kees Taljaard Stadium in Middelburg on Saturday.
Flyhalf Roos kicked five conversions and two penalties while lock Rudi Mathee ran in a brace of tries as the Pumas stretched their winning run to six matches to remain unbeaten this season.
The Pumas raced in to a 17-0 lead after just eight minutes thanks to early converted tries from hooker Jacques Momberg and left wing Ruwellyn Isbell before Roos kicked a monster 60-metre penalty.
The hosts were looking in dominant form and they added to their lead 11 minutes later when flank Uzair Cassiem powered his way over for a converted try.
The Leopards XV found themselves staring down the barrel as they trailed by 24 points but the visitors forced their way back in to the contest with two converted tries in the space of two minutes.
Inside centre George Tossel dotted down a converted try before fullback SW Oosthuizen scored another converted try to make the halftime score 24-14 in the Pumas’ favour.
The visitors began the second half in a similar vein of form and they narrowed the gap to just three points, nine minutes after the resumption of play, when Tossel grabbed his second try.
Roos gave the Pumas some breathing space with a 55th-minute penalty before his opposite number Gerhard Nortier closed the gap to just three points once again with a penalty of his own in the 58th minute.
However, the Pumas wrapped up their four-try bonus point when Mathee rumbled over for a converted try before scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka stepped up to nail a long-range penalty attempt as the hosts eased to a 37-24 lead with 10 minutes left in the contest.
Mathee then made the match safe with his second try, seven minutes from time, before the Leopards grabbed a late consolation try, and a bonus point, through replacement hooker Jacques Vermaak.
STEVAL PUMAS – Tries: Jacques Momberg, Ruwellyn Isbell, Uzair Cassiem, Rudi Mathee (2); Conversions: JC Roos (5); Penalties: Roos (2), Sinovuyo Nyoka.
LEOPARDS XV: Tries: George Tossel (2); SW Oosthuizen, Jacques Vermaak: Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (4); Penalty: Nortier.