Pivotal changes for Pumas

Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:26
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Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse made six changes to his team for the Currie Cup promotion-relegation Round Two match against Griquas on Friday.

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse made six changes to his team for the Currie Cup promotion-relegation Round Two match against Griquas on Friday.

Griquas take a narrow two-point advantage into the return match in Nelspruit, after their 21-19 victory over the Pumas in Kimberley last Friday.

Despite coming so close, Stonehouse has opted to shake up his pack - with of the six changes up front.

The only backline chance is at flyhalf, where Carl Bezuidenhout - who has been struggling with a rib injury - was replaced by JC Roos.

Stonehouse said that while Bezuidenhout could have played at a push, it was just too much of a risk.

"We are going in with a split of five forwards and just two backs on the bench," the Pumas mentor told this website.

"We didn't want to take a chance, just in case he [Bezuidenhout] lasts just 10 minutes and the [rib] injury flares up - then we could have a trouble with backs on the bench."

Stonehouse named an entirely new front row - De-Jay Terblanche, Francois du Toit and Vincent Koch replacing Ivann Espag, Frank Herne and Corné Fourie.

Herne and Fourie will play off the bench, while he still has to make a call between Drew van Coller and Stephan Kotze as the other prop on the bench.

Ivann Espag has dropped out of the matchday 22.

Lubabalo Mtyanda comes into the second row, with Rudi Matthee moving from No.4 to No.5 and Eduan Van Der Walt dropping to the bench.

Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 JW Bell, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speck man, 10 JC Roos, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 RW Kember, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Rudi Matthee, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Drew van Coller/Stephan Kotze, 19 Eduan Van Der Walt, 20, Uzair Cassiem, 21 Dewald Pretorius, 22 Jerome Pretorius.

Date: Friday, October 25
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Sieg van Staden, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Johan Greeff

By Jan de Koning

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
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Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8