the cougars defeated welcomes the Sharks 20-10 Friday night in Durban to keep up their push for a Currie Cup place in the playoffs.
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It was the Mpumalanga-based side who took advantage of their first-half opportunities to lead 17-3 thanks to two converted tries and a penalty, while the home side responded with just one lost goal.
The Coast team played better in the second half, scoring a converted try while the visiting team added a penalty to register a massive victory that boosted morale.
Pumas one point behind Sharks in Currie Cup log
They remain fifth in the standings, but have moved within a point of fourth-placed Griquas, who have 20 points.
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The Sharks made a lot of lineup mistakes, especially in the first stanza, which robbed them of a decent attacking platform and at the same time gave the pink and gray jerseys momentum.
The Lowvelders had the most possession and territory in the first spell, however, they knocked down many promising opportunities by making handling errors or taking bad options.
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Jimmy Stonehouse’s side scored ten points in as many minutes in the first half thanks to a penalty from Eddie Fouché (inside centre) while full-back Devon Williams grabbed the first of his two tries – scored on the away after the visitors managed to steal a home line-up.
Perhaps frustrated with his team’s inability to break through the opposition defence, fly-half Boeta Chamberlain headed a high drop goal through the post to put the home side on the scoreboard (10-3) with just over 10 minutes before the half-time whistle.
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However, the Pumas were rewarded for their more attacking intent when Williams was there again to take the finishing pass and go for his converted second try as they increased their half-time lead to 17-3.
The black and white jerseys played much better in the second half with substitute hooker Fez Mbatha, in place of Kerron van Vuuren, diving after a powerful maul to close the gap to 17-10.
Fouché then scored his second penalty goal of the night to restore their ten-point lead with the game at 20-10 in favor of the Lowvelders.
Then followed a period of sustained pressure from the visitors, however, the home side’s defense remained solid as they thwarted at least three dangerous try attempts from the desperate home side.
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Try: Fes Mbatha
Conversion: Boeta Chamberlain
Drop goal: Chamberlain
Tries: Devon Williams (2)
Conversions: Eddie Fouché (2)
Sanctions: Fouche (2)