A brace of tries from Tristan Leyds helped DHL Western Province secure a vital 37-23 (halftime 16-10) victory over the New Nation Pumas in the Carling Currie at the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Sunday afternoon.
The right wing, and brother of Springbok Dillyon Leyds, scored a try in each half while scrumhalf Paul de Wet and storming No 8 Evan Roos also crossed the line for the men from Cape Town. Flyhalf Tim Swiel had a good day with the boot, converting three tries and landing three penalties with De Wet converting his own try.
The Pumas, who started brightly, and scored three tries of their own with hooker Simon Westraadt and replacement flyhalf Eddie Fouche crossing the line and referee Cwengile Jadezweni awarding a penalty try at the end of the first period. Fullback Gerrie Labuschagne and flyhelf Neil Marais each landed a three-pointer.
Province were their own worst enemies in the first stanza, as they had been a few days ago against the Toyota Cheetahs, dominating possession and territory but without impacting on the scoreboard. The Pumas were playing on turnover ball and thought they had scored a wonderful try after nine minutes through right wing Jade Stighling only for TMO Stuart Berry to overturn the decision for a forward pass.
Worse was to come as the Pumas captain, Pieter Jansen van Vuuren was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle on the dancing Juan de Jongh just minutes later. Swiel converted the penalty but Labuschagne replied with his own long-range penalty shortly thereafter.
Swiel regained the lead for the visitors before a mistake from Labuschagne and the Pumas team allowed Leyds to cross for his first try. A high up-and-under from the Pumas fullback was too shallow and the entire Pumas team did not react while Leyds was quick on the trigger, catching the ball and sprinting away to score in the right hand corner. Province extended their lead to 13 points thanks to a wonderful conversion from Swiel.
The Pumas though kept fighting hard and working off the numerous handling errors from the Province side and shortly before the halftime whistle, were handed a penalty try when prop Sanzi Sandi was shown a yellow card for sinical play with the Pumas on the line.
The second stanza began as the first had ended, with the home side having their tails up and Marais reduced the deficit to just three points with a penalty six minutes after the restart. But that would be the last time the Pumas troubled the scorers until 10 minutes from the end.
A brilliant move down the blind side, and great dummy from replacement hooker Andre Hugo Venter, put De Wet into space to score under the poles, extending the lead to 10 points as the scrumhalf converted his own score.
The Pumas were then back down to 14 men as hooker Westraadt was shown a yellow after bringing an illegal halt to a storming run from Roos. Province kept the pressure up at scrumtime with Swiel producing a pint-point cross-kick to Leyds on the right, with the winger having to do nothing but cross the line.
Province secured their bonus-point when a perfectly timed pass from replacement scrumhalf Godlin Masimla to Roos, put the big No 8 into space to score under the poles and with Swiel converting, put the game beyond doubt with a 24-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
But Westraadt’s return to the field of play brought about immediate success as the Pumas controlled a rolling maul brilliantly with Westraadt crossing the line. Fouche missed the conversion to leave the hosts 19 points adrift and to their credit, the home side kept pushing and were rewarded with their third try after the hooter as Fouche punched a hole in the Province defense.
At the halfway stage of the competition, Province now lie fourth on the log with 17 points, two ahead of the fifth-placed Pumas.
New Nation Pumas – Tries: Simon Westraadt, , Eddie Fouche, Penalty Try; Penalties: Gerrie Labuschagne, Neil Marais.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Tristan Leyds (2), Paul De Wet, Evan Roos; Conversions: Tim Swiel (3), De Wet; Penalties: Swiel (3).