Pumas prepare for Shark attack

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:48
Large jimmy stonehouse 2

The Pumas are preparing themselves for a pacey backline threat and a physical force in the forwards when they head to Durban to face the Sharks.

The Pumas are preparing themselves for a pacey backline threat and a physical force in the forwards when they head to Durban to face the defending Currie Cup Champions.
 
Jimmy Stonehouse, while clearly delighted at his teams victory against the Cheetahs last Saturday, knows that the Sharks will be much more of a threat.
 
"We are aware that we have a tougher task coming up in the Sharks because we know that the Cheetahs are not the best side there is," the Pumas coach told rugby365.
 
"They have lost a lot of players - in saying that, so have the Sharks, but both of these teams still have nine Super Rugby players left.
 
"We are looking forward to see what we can do against them."
 
Take nothing away from the Pumas, their victory was well deserved, however it was made easier by the fact that the Cheetahs looked very out of sorts.
 
Stonehouse knows that for his team to overcome the defending champions there is going to have to be some work done in the lead up week.
 
"There is still room for improvement, our defense wasn't that great on the outside, we were not quick enough to move and adapt when they got overlaps," said Stonehouse.
 
"That has been our focus, because we know the Sharks will do the same against us with their quick backs.
 
"The other thing that needs work is our line-out and line-out mauling because we have recognized that the Sharks will also be looking to take us up front there.
 
"Even if we can manage them in the scrums and the line-outs, we still have to be aware of their backline.
 
"We know their strength lies in their backline and I think if we can hold up in our defense there we can do well against them."
 
It is always tough for the minnows of South African rugby to go up against the titans, even if those titans are crippled by Springbok selection amongst other things.
 
For Stonehouse and his Pumas, the biggest danger the Sharks posses is not their star quality, but their depth.
 
"The Sharks are obviously a great franchise, they are contracting Under-19 and Under-21 players giving them a plenty of depth," he continued
 
"Even though they are losing a lot of guys from the Super Rugby campaign, they can still produce a great team.
 
"Their youngsters obviously add massively, if you can play Under-19 and Under-21 Currie Cup level, you are used to that pressure and that gives you a good basis for your rugby career.
 
"The concern for us is really their depth, they are a big franchise,.
 
"However, we must remember that we want to be here so we can not look at that as a problem."
 
Stonehouse rounded off by stating that his team also need to recognize the role of the referee is getting tighter.
 
"I think we have a good squad so it is about minimizing mistakes, stupid mistakes like yellow cards and penalties," the coach concluded.
 
"Especially with the referees now, they are very harsh on discipline so we need to adapt to that quickly."
 
The Pumas face the Sharks on Saturday in their first game away from the Mbombela Stadium - It will be the Sharks first match back in Durban.
 
By Darryn Pollock
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26