The Blue Bulls got their Currie Cup campaign back on track when they edged the Pumas 16-12 in a thrilling match at the Mbombela Stadium, in Nelspruit, on Friday.
Despite scoring the only try of the match, Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter admitted his team was fortunate to take the points.
However, he felt the character-building victory will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season - as they moved off the bottom of the table ahead of the winless Pumas.
But spare a thought for Corné Steenkamp and his band of Pumas, who have lost all four their five games by seven points or less - 27-31 to the Lions, 22-23 to the Sharks and 33-40 to Griquas - before Friday's heartbreaker.
The Pumas showed plenty of heart, but basic errors cost them - as they failed to turn numerous opportunities into points.
And for the Bulls, like last week in their loss to the Lions, a high penalty count cost them dearly.
While they may question some of Australia referee Andrew Lees's calls, but generally they were again guilty of far too many transgressions at the breakdown.
In the end it was a late drop-goal from replacement Louis Fouché that gave them the breathing space and winning margin in a game that remained in the balance right to the end.
Man of the match: There were the usual heroes for the Pumas - flyhalf Ricardo Croy, wing MJ Mentz, captain Corné Steenkamp and prop Ashley Buys. For the Bulls Wynand Olivier had his moments in midfield, captain Dewald Potgieter again bled for the cause, Juandré Kruger and Flip van der Merwe was huge, while prop Dean Greyling was strong in the carries. However, our award goes to the Bulls' new recruit, scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, for ensuring the backline finally got some quality ball at a quick rate ... to go along with his usual energy. It was a good buy by the men from Pretoria.
For the Pumas:
Pens: Croy 4
For the Blue Bulls:
Pens: Boshoff 2
Pumas: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Tian Meyer, 11 MJ Mentz, 10 Ricardo Croy, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Rudi Matthee, 19 RW Kember, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Tiaan Marx, 22 Johan Jackson.
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter.
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Sindile Mayende Cobus Wessels
TMO: Johann Meuwesen
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