Kettledas scores twice as Pumas win in EL
Wing Allistair Kettledas crossed over twice as the Mpumalanga Pumas completed a successful visit to East London as they beat the Border Bulldogs 47-12 (half-time 19-12) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match on Saturday.
The Pumas, flying high at the top of the log, proved that size really does matter in rugby as they just physically overwhelmed a gutsy, adventurous Border side.
It was the home team who struck first as scrumhalf Morne Adams knifed straight through the Pumas defence for the opening try just three minutes after the kickoff, but the Pumas enjoyed a telling advantage in terms of territory and possession and three penalties would come in quick succession from wing Braam Pretorius to give the visitors a 9-5 lead.
Wonderfully direct running by Kettledas, coming off his wing, ensured the Pumas' first try, in the 15th minute, and Pretorius added the conversion and a penalty to put them 19-5 ahead.
But the Bulldogs continued to try and express themselves and their positive rugby finally found an outlet just before half-time when outside centre Chumani Booi jinked over much to the joy of the crowd.
But there was no joy for Border or their crowd in the second half as the Pumas crossed for four more tries.
In the 46th minute, the ball popped out kindly for hooker Hannes Franklin two metres from the line and he gathered and plunged over for the try, converted by Pretorius.
There was more pain for the Bulldogs 11 minutes later as hard-working loose forward Martin Sithole was on the end of a sweeping move and Pretorius once again added two more points with his boot.
The Bulldogs were trailing 33-12 but were not about to give up and the spirited play they produced in the final quarter said much for their character and it is important to note that the Pumas' last two tries both came from intercepts.
Kettledas - he or lock Luan Velthuizen would have been worthy candidates for man of the match - grabbed his second try, while Torsten van Jaarsveld stole the ball in the dying moments to claim the final try of the match.
Pretorius converted both to finish with a personal tally of 22 points.
Border Bulldogs - Tries: Morne Adams, Chumani Booi. Conversion: Reinhard Gerber.
Mpumalanga Pumas - Tries: Allistair Kettledas (2), Hannes Franklin, Martin Sithole, Torsten van Jaarsveld. Conversions: Braam Pretorius (5). Penalties: Pretorius (4).