Jimmy's recipe: Set-piece pressure

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:41
Large jimmy stonehouse interview

INTERVIEW: The Pumas are determined to prove they belong among the premier teams in South Africa when they take on the Sharks.

The Pumas are determined to prove they belong among the premier teams in South Africa when they take on the defending champion Sharks in Nelspruit on Friday.

Having recorded two great wins at the Mbombela Stadium - 28-21 against the Free State Cheetahs and 33-15 over Griquas, with a 17-34 loss to the unbeaten Sharks in Durban sandwiched in between - the men from Mpumalanga feel they could cause an upset.

And they plan to do it by using the set pieces to pile the pressure on the visitors.

"We are always positive and we are looking forward to Friday to see how we will compete against a team with the qualities the Sharks have," Stonehouse told rugby365 in an interview ahead of the Round Four Currie Cup encounter.

"We are excited to measure ourselves here [in Nelspruit]," he said, adding: "It is always tougher for us to play away, but we are better at home.

"We are looking forward to the [contest in the] scrum. We are looking forward to the line-outs, to fix [the aspect] where we struggled quite a bit the previous encounter [with the Sharks]."

While the Pumas have not been a dominant force in the scrums, they are certainly not too bad.

"We are looking to build on our scrums, as that is an aspect we pay a lot of attention to," the Pumas mentor said.

"We hope it is an aspect of the game where we can put some pressure on them. They did scrum very well against the Cheetahs and they have a very good set of forwards, so it will be a tough contest."

While the Pumas look to play a "total game", they have paid a lot of attention to their line-outs this week, as that is an aspect in which they struggled in some games.

"We also worked on stopping their mauls from line-outs," Stonehouse told rugby365, adding: "They gave us a good hiding in that aspect the last time. We will also look to use the mauls, as that is also a good aspect of our game.

"Those are two aspects we feel we can have an influence in this game."

The Pumas coach said that despite people writing off Sharks fullback SP Marais, because of his form, he remains a player that can kick the ball long distances and can get them out of trouble.

"They also have a very good backline. Our defence will have to be spot on.

"One of their strengths is the way they move the ball down the backline.

"Then there is [flank Jacques] Botes, who also does a lot of good work close in and [No.8 Lubabalo] Mtembu, who has the ability to get across the advantage line.

"They also use [hooker] Kyle Cooper to take the ball up a lot, from line-outs and scrums after the first pod [of forwards].

"Those three, Botes, Mtembu and Cooper are very good ball carriers."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 19h30 Rodney Parade
Fri, 12 February 2016
Leinster v Zebre 19h30 RDS Arena
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h30 Kingspan Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 19h45 Kingston Park
Scarlets v Edinburgh 20h15 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8