The Pumas beat Namibia 51-15 at the U18 Craven Week on Wednesday. TYRONE ENGEL reports.
The Pumas held a modest 20-10 lead at the break, after enjoying the bulk of the possession and territory. They scored a further five tries in the second half to complete their second win at Craven Week.
Much of the opening stages of the match was played in Namibia’s half, but the Pumas were unable to convert that pressure and possession into points. Pumas flank JC Pretorius, Monday’s Craven Week Hero of the Day, again played a key role at the breakdown and as a ball-carrier.
The Mpumalanga-based side, who were denied early on because of a knock-on, opened the scoring through a penalty kick by flyhalf Riekert Barnard in the 13th minute.
Namibia hit back immediately with fullback André van der Berg racing in to score after intercepting a Pumas pass from the restart. Flyhalf Gerswin Mouton added the extras.
The Pumas then surged ahead with scrumhalf Jaco Joubert scoring a brace of tries in just four minutes. Barnard converted both before kicking a second penalty to take their lead to 20-7 after 26 minutes.
Namibia found their attacking game late in the half while keeping the Pumas at bay. Mouton reduced the Pumas’ lead to 10 points with a penalty kick after the half-time hooter.
Both sides made a plethora of handling errors early in the second half. The Pumas were first to add to their tally in the 48th minute as a clever break saw flank Wandile Shabangu cross for their third converted try.
Namibia were then reduced to 14 men in the 54th minute after lock Loandro Erasmus was yellow-carded for a dangerous cleanout at the breakdown.
The Pumas took advantage of the extra man, scoring four more tries through wing Percy Mkhwanazi, prop Dewald Maritz (two) – the second of which saw him run in from 45m out, breaking tackles along the way – and Pretorius, who made another brilliant steal at the breakdown and raced in for the score.
Namibia scored their second try with the final play of the game through centre Chad Plato, but it was scant consolation after being completely outplayed by the Pumas.
Pumas – Tries: Jaco Joubert (2), Wandile Shanbangu, Percy Mkhwanazi, Dewald Maritz (2), JC Pretorius. Conversions: Riekert Barnard (5). Penalties: Barnard (2).
Namibia – Tries: André van der Berg, Chad Plato. Conversion: Gerswin Mouton. Penalty: Mouton.
Pumas – 15 Ryan Cloete, 14 Prince Nkabinde, 13 Boet Heyl, 12 Riaz Adebayo, 11 Percy Mkhwanazi, 10 Stefan van der Bank, 9 Jaco Joubert, 8 Junior Schmidt, 7 Wandile Shabangu , 6 JC Pretorius, 5 KP de Jager, 4 Vusi Mkhanza, 3 Dewald Maritz, 2 Ruben Cross, 1 Morgan Naudé, 16 SP Muller, 17 Nkosinathi Mthethwa, 18 Hloni Mputi, 19 Sibusiso Madonsela, 20 Brandon Magadulela, 21 Thabiso Mkhwebane, 22 Riekert Barnard, 23 Julian Claasen.
Namibia – André van der Berg, Darius von Solms, Elmarco Beukes, Wynand Breytenbach, Denzo Bruwer, JT Basson, Luandro Erasmus, Prince Goaseb, Peter Diergaardt, Jano Rieckert, Armand Kotze, Oderich Mouton, Handre Klazinga, Chrischen Olivier, Chad Plato, Rudi Pretorius, Andries Jacobs, Patrick Schickerling, Dylan Farmer, Tertius Lambrechts, Gershwin Mouton, Nico Horn, André Rademeyer.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images