Currie Cup

Pumas shock Cheetahs with last-gasp try to reach maiden Currie Cup final

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Pumas flyhalf Tinus de Beer clears. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)
Pumas flyhalf Tinus de Beer clears. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

The Pumas shocked the South African rugby fraternity when they claimed a last-gasp 38-35 win over the Cheetahs in their Currie Cup semi-final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED | Cheetahs v Pumas

It was a helter-skelter game in which the lead changed hands several times.

The Cheetahs, though, appeared to have the game in the bag when they led 32-17 heading into the final quarter, but the Pumas' never-say-die attitude saw them advance to the Currie Cup final for the first time in their history.

They will now face Griquas in the final in Kimberley. Griquas reached their first Currie Cup final since 1970 with a 30-19 upset of the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday night.

Pumas off to a flyer

At Free State Stadium on Saturday, the Pumas started like a house on fire, and when they led 17-7 after 25 minutes, an upset appeared on the cards.

The Cheetahs were in trouble early on, having lost instrumental captain Ruan Pienaar to a knee injury.

However, a quickfire 17 points - which included a try and a penalty try - saw the Cheetahs head into the half-time break 24-17 ahead.

The Cheetahs continued to dominate after the break, and a second try for No 8 Jeandre Rudolph saw them take a 29-17 lead. A penalty from flyhalf Siya Masuku gave the hosts a comfortable 32-17 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Pumas refused to give up though, and fought back via a well-rounded team try from replacement scrumhalf Giovan Snyman (32-24).

Masuku kicked another penalty to hand the Cheetahs a 35-24 lead inside the final 10 minutes but there was a late twist when Cheetahs speedster Rosko Specman received a yellow card.

The Pumas cashed in immediately via a try from replacement prop Simon Raw to reduce the scoreline to 35-31 with five minutes remaining.

This ensured a pulsating finish to the game.

The Pumas won a turnover deep inside their own half, before launching an attack down-field. It ended in a spectacular try under the posts from replacement centre Ali Mgijima, leaving the home crowd in disbelief as the hooter sounded.

Scorers:

Cheetahs 35 (24)

Tries: Jeandre Rudolph (2), penalty try, Clayton Blommetjies

Conversions: Ruan Pienaar, Siya Masuku

Penalties: Masuku (3)

Pumas 38 (17)

Tries: Eddie Fouche, Sebastian de Klerk (2), Giovan Snyman, Simon Raw, Ali Mgijima

Conversions: Fouche (2), Tinus de Beer (2)

Teams:

Cheetahs

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Siyabonga Masuku, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Cameron Dawson

Substitutes: 16 Marnus van der Merwe, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Marne Coetzee, 19 Ockie Barnard, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Robert Ebersohn

Pumas

15 Devon Williams, 14 Tapiwa Mafura, 13 Sebastian de Klerk, 12 Eddie Fouche, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Andre Fouche, 7 Willie Engelbrecht (captain), 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Shane Kirkwood, 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Eduan Swart, 1 Corne Fourie

Substitutes: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Simon Raw, 19 Kwanda Dimaza, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Giovan Snyman, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Alwayno Visagie

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Logs
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Team Logo
2. Vodacom Bulls
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3. The Windhoek Draught Griquas
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4. Airlink Pumas
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