Shabangu boost for Pumas

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:20
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pumas have been boosted by the return of their key players ahead Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

Flank Brian Shabangu and outside centre Hennie Skorbinski will return to the Pumas starting line-up.

Shabangu will start at No.6 for the first time in more than a month, after recovering from a rib injury. He replaces Marnus Schoeman, who drops out of the playing squad.

"Marnus is being given a rest this week to get back some confidence," said Pumas coach Marthinus Mentz.   

"But we are really happy to have Brian back as he was in good form before his injury and brings a lot of experience, energy and physicality to his position.” 

Skorbinski has recovered from a hamstring strain to take up his usual starting berth in place of Tyler Fisher who is currently serving a one-match ban for a red card he picked up when filling in at outside-centre against Boland last Friday.

Marlou van Niekerk has been favoured at inside centre ahead of the benched Leighton van Wyk, while Lambert Groenewald comes in at right flank for Nardus van der Walt, who is out for the rest of the season with a ruptured ACL.

Jannie Stander switches from left lock to right lock, with Wiehan Hay partnering him in the second row. 

"The guys are really hungry for a win. We've worked extremely hard and owe it to ourselves and our supporters," Mentz explained.

"The Bulls are always wary of us at Mbombela Stadium because we’ve beaten them here several times.

"It’s going to be a hard and physical task but every time we play the Bulls it automatically acts as motivation to up our game.  

The Pumas have suffered four losses in a row and currently sit in eighth place on the Currie Cup log with five bonus points ahead of the EP Kings.  

Pumas: 15 Williams Devon, 14 Bernardo Botha, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Jean-Paul Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Renaldo Bothma (captain), 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Frank Herne, 1 De Jay Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Leighton Van Wyk, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell.

Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry 
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Marnus Meiring
TMO: Willie Vos

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1