Discipline lets down KZN against the Pumas on third day

2013-07-11 00:00

THE third day at Craven Week in Polokwane saw the sides that played on Monday back in the fray, including the KZN side in their second game against the Pumas.

KZN had beaten the Pumas 36-14 in a warm-up match at the end of last term, but it was their discipline that let them down in this game, and they gave away almost double the number of penalties that the Pumas threw away. Brandon Thomson (Ermelo) kicked four difficult conversions and four penalties for a personal contribution of 20 points for the Pumas to win 40-18.

At half-time, KZN had performed relatively well into the breeze and were trailing 6-13 after two penalties apiece and a late try by flank Willan­dre Kotzenburg (HTS Middelburg) on the half-time whistle. Kurt Webster (DHS) converted the two for KZN.

The local boys started the second half with a good try by Webster after some good metres gained by Jean-Luc du Preez (Kearsney), but the conversion was missed and KZN trailed 11-13. Mistakes were creeping into KZN’s game, and the Pumas were quick to counter with flank and man of the match Daniel Maartens (Nel­spruit) making a number of turnovers. One such led to Odwa Nkunjane (HTS Witbank) scoring the first of his two tries and Pumas extending their lead to 20-11.

Kelvin Elder (Maritzburg College) playing at centre, then scored a brilliant individual try as he drifted, broke back through a gap and with an inside swerve was able to go over under the posts. This time Webster converted and KZN were back in the game at 18-20. This is when KZN self- destructed, giving away two penalties due to dangerous tackles within four minutes of one another and some loose passes, enabling Mzaki Fransman (HTS Witank) and Nkunjane to intercept and run away to score.

It was a disappointing display by KZN in their second loss by almost the same number of points as against the Bulls on Monday.

The first game of the day was Namibia against Griquas, both of which had lost on Monday. Although both sides scored two tries, Namibia made the most of some accurate kicking to win the game 27-10.

In the second match it was Zimbabwe who continued with some impressive play to beat Limpopo 43-5, after leading 15-0 at half time. This was a convincing victory against the home province, with Zimbabwe scoring six tries and Limpopo a consolation try in the last minute.

Nine tries were scored in the next match between Border and Boland, six to winners Border. Captain and flyhalf of Border Lungelo Gosa (Selborne) was the general, controlling the game, using his educated boot to keep his forwards on the front foot and showing some neat distribution skills. Flank Jedwyn Harty (Selborne) scored a hat trick of tries. Boland did not give up contesting until the final whistle, but lost 19-39.

In the final match of the day between Western Province and the Blue Bulls, the boys from the south used their ball won at the breakdowns and tight phases to much better effect than the Bulls. They took their 13-3 lead at half time to a 30-6 win. The Bulls, who won their line-outs so easily against KZN, did not have it all their own way against WP, losing a number of their own line-outs. This affected their backline play as they did not get good set-phase ball. WP were deserved winners, scoring four tries without reply.

Today, the two main games will see Eastern Province against SWD and the final game, the Lions against the Free State.

Scores in brief: Namibia 27 Griquas 10; Zimbabwe 43 Limpopo 5; Border 39 Boland 19; Pumas 40 KZN 18; Western Province 30 Blue Bulls 6.

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