Cape Town - The Pumas got their Currie Cup campaign off to a fine start when they claimed a deserved 42-19 victory over Griquas in Nelspruit on Friday.
The home side were full value for their win as they dominated for large periods and eventually outscored Griquas by five tries to three and Chris Smith finished with a 22-point haul courtesy of a try, for conversions and three penalties.
Two penalties from Smith gave the Pumas a 6-0 lead by the 22nd minute before their captain, Hennie Skorbinski, ran onto a pass from Stefan Ungerer deep inside Griquas' 22 and crossed for the opening try.
Smith added the extras before the visitors struck back in the 32nd minute via a well-taken try from AJ Coertzen, who beat a couple of defenders on his way over the whitewash. George Whitehead slotted the conversion which meant the Pumas led 13-7 at half-time.
The home side came out firing in the second half and two minutes after the restart they were rewarded when Ungerer went over for their second try from close quarters after Marnus Schoeman was stopped just short of the try-line in the build up.
The next 20 minutes was one-way traffic as the Pumas scored 22 unanswered points during that period.
Smith added his third penalty in the 48th minute and he continued to impress when he charged down an attempted clearance kick from Whitehead before regathering the ball and scoring his side's third try.
The Pumas' dominance reaped further reward in the 58th minute when Ungerer launched a high kick which Neil Maritz gathered before outpacing the Griquas cover defence on his way over the try-line.
Griquas were dealt a blow shortly afterwards when Liam Hendricks was yellow carded for a cynical defensive foul deep inside his half.
The Pumas made their numerical advantage count when Schoeman crossed the try-line off the back of a driving maul in the 62nd minute.
With the game in the bag, the hosts took their foot off the pedal which allowed Griquas to finish stronger and they were rewarded with late tries from Christiaan Meyer and Conway Pretorius which added some respectability to the final score.
Tries: Skorbinski, Ungerer, C Smith, Maritz, Schoeman
Cons: C Smith 4
Pens: C Smith 3
Tries: Coertzen, Meyer, Pretorius
Cons: Whitehead 2
15 Gerrit Smith, 14 JP Lewis, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (c), 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Kwezi Mona
Substitutes: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Jeandré Rudolph, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Trompie Pretorius
15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn (c), 12 Christopher Bosch, 11, Godfrey Ramaboea, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Conway Pretorius, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 FP Pelser, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Devon Martinus
Substitutes: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Ruan Kramer, 19 Pieter Van Vuren, 20 Izak Burger, 21 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Andre Swarts