Shabangu boost for Pumas

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:20
Large renaldo bothma maul 800

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
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Bloemfontein
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1