There wasn’t however much in the game when Pumas centre and captain Stefan Watermeyer scored his team’s third try in the 54th minute, but what looked like a double movement, to put the scores level at 27-27, but a quick 10 points in response by the Lions send them into a 37-27 lead shortly after.
In the 70th minute the Lions scored their fifth try by replacement centre Stokkies Hanekom which put the result beyond any doubt.
The Lions had to really scramble to get the better of a fired-up Pumas side, but it was Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff who kicked 19 points and 7/7, who was awesome, adding a drop-goal, while Pumas counterpart JC Roos, while missing a drop, but also yellow-carded, but who still kicked 12 points and 5/8.
Yellow cards to Roos, Lions fullback Ruan Combrinck and team-mate and replacement flank Kwagga Smit underlined the niggle in the game, while two penalty tries to the Lions probably made all the difference.
“I have to congratulate my Lions boys, however we were not clinical, while we have to give credit to the Pumas for the fight they put up,” said Lions captain Jaco Kriel.
After the scores were level with 25 minutes left, Boshoff landed another penalty in the 55th minute to send the Lions into a 30-27 advantage and then the Lions scored their bonuspoint try in the 57th minute after a deliberate knockdown from the visitors’ flyhalf Roos which earned him a yellow card.
Leading 20-10 at the break, Pumas wing Bernardo Botha reduced matters with his team’s second try two minutes after halftime after great work by fullback JW Bell and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk to reduce the scoreline to just 20-17.
The Lions responded however just two minutes later with their third try by leftwing Courtnall Skosan after a long overhead pass by Boshoff who converted to stretch the lead again to a 10-pointer at 27-17.
Roos in turn landed a penalty in the 48th minute to reduce the Lions lead to 27-20.
*The Pumas could’ve been up 6-0 early but Roos missed two penalties in the fourth and sixth minutes, with the last attempt hitting the upright after the Pumas started like a house on fire pinning the Lions back in their own territory.
Instead it was Boshoff who put the Lions 3-0 up with a drop-goal after eight minutes after the Lions turned the ball over somewhat against the run of proceedings with the Pumas dominating field possession and territory in the opening stanza.
In the 20th minute the flank of the Pumas Marnus Schoeman continued his try-scoring spree by scoring the opening try of the game and getting the call after initially being questioned for standing up in the tackle after a rolling maul but with Roos’ conversion it put the Pumas up 7-3.
In the 22nd minute however Boshoff landed his first penalty to have the Lions trailing 6-7 and when centre Harold Vorster scored the hometeam’s opening try in the 25th minute and with Boshoff making no mistake with the conversion it send the Lions into a 13-7 lead.
A penalty from Roos again reduced the Lions lead to 13-10 but then in the 32nd minute Berry awarded the Lions a penalty try after the Pumas collapsed the scrum on their own goal line and with Boshoff landing the easy conversion it put the Lions up by 20-10.