In an extraordinary turnaround, the Pumas came from far behind to beat the GWK Griquas 47-31 in Kimberley on Friday afternoon.
In doing so they also kept their unbeaten record in the Vodacom Cup intact.
Trailing 7-28 after 36 minutes there didn’t seem any possible way back for the visitors from Mpumalanga, but somehow they managed to take the initiative, which they never relinquished, to score 33 unanswered points.
Not only did the Pumas trail throughout the first half (14-24 behind at the break) they were totally outplayed by a Griqua team in dominated mood. The hosts had the majority of possession and managed to control it well, often taking the ball through the hands, resulting in the Pumas having to make a huge amount of tackles in comparison to their opponents.
The Peacock Blues would have felt they were due for a bigger lead than just 10 points after 40 minutes having had so much of the possesion, but they conceded a second very soft try just before the break. The Pumas didn’t do themselves any favours by having to play with 14 men for 20 minutes – both cases due to ill-discipline.
When No 8 Leon Karemaker scored from a five-metre scrum four minutes before the break for a 28-7 lead to the Griquas, no one could have foreseen that they would only get back on the scoreboard 35 minutes later and concede 33 points in the period.
Replacement JW Bell started the comeback for the visitors when he stepped past three weak defenders on his way to the try line. Thereafter the Pumas called the shots with the Peacock Blues having to do the majority of the tackling.
Everything seemed to turn against the Griquas in the second half and even their lineouts, which were solid in the first half, became a mess.
A try by replacement loose forward Deon Carney brought a little bit of daylight nine minutes before the end, reducing the deficit to 31-40.
However, in the Griquas' search for two further scores the Pumas intercepted and ran in a 70-metre try to seal a remarkable come-from-behind victory.
GRIQUAS – Tries: Jonathan Adendorf, Richard Lawson, Leon Karemaker, Deon Carney. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (4). Penalty: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
PUMAS ¬– Tries: Wilhelm Loock, Carl Bezuidenhout, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Specman (2), Renaldo Bothma, JW Bell. Conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (6).