Grobler: Panic cost Pumas

It’s back to the drawing board for the Pumas after they slumped to their fourth Absa Currie Cup defeat in-a-row on Saturday.

The Pumas lost 28-17 to the Vodacom Blue Bulls at @lantic Park in Witbank.

The Pumas are now the only team without a win after four rounds and sit at the bottom of the table with just two points. And it doesn’t look like getting any easier with a trip to Bloemfontein this coming Saturday.

Pumas coach Chris Grobler lamented his team’s inability to play for a full 80 minutes. “We lost this match in about ten minutes between about the 25th and 35th minutes. In that period we lost concentration and took poor kicking options. And slipped tackles led to too many tries,” Grobler told keo.co.za.

At the 25 minute mark, the Pumas trailed by just 10-3 and were looking pretty good. They then conceded three converted tries – they did get one of their own – and a penalty and as half-time approached they suddenly found themselves 34-10 down.

Another try on the stroke of half-time gave the Bulls an insurmountable 41-10 lead. “It is so difficult to come back from that. We just panicked for 10 minutes. And we showed we can compete in the second half.”

“We did the same thing against Griquas earlier this year. It is just so disappointing. We have to work on that this week,” said Grobler who added he was pleased with the effort shown in the second stanza.

The Pumas managed to hold the Bulls to a 7-7 scoreline in the second half and but for the flurry of scoring that the coach points out, it could have been much closer in the end.

Admittedly, the Bulls played some pretty good rugby to score those five first half tries and nothing should be taken from them. The Pumas though will work hard this week on staying focussed for the entire match.

By Andrew Hollely