Plumtree wary of Pumas clash
Johannesburg - Sharks coach John Plumtree says he is cautious of a settled Pumas side ahead of their Currie Cup clash in Nelspruit on Friday.
The Pumas caused an upset against the Blue Bulls at Mbombela Stadium in last year's Currie Cup, beating them 22-21, and Plumtree said the hosts would be a tough prospect.
"They have a lot of continuity from playing in the Vodacom Cup," Plumtree said.
"They've been together for a while now and they have the same coach, so they'll be determined and it will be tough, there's no doubt."
The defending champions have been disrupted by national call-ups, but they pulled off a convincing 35-16 win over the Bulls in Durban on Saturday.
"It was a tough match, so we've just got to get up there, believe in ourselves, play with confidence and make sure we're up," Plumtree said.
Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said he was impressed by the Pumas in their narrow 31-27 loss to the Golden Lions last week.
"That Lions team hasn't lost many of the players they had in their Super Rugby campaign," said Bashford.
"For much of the game the result could have gone either way and it took an intercept try for the Lions to get home.
"The Pumas have a big pack and some exciting backs, so it's going to be a tough match."
Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse said he was encouraged by the way his charges shifted the ball against the Lions.
"We have a good scrum and lineout and what makes it nice is that we now all of a sudden have a competitive backline," said Stonehouse.
The last time the two sides met in the Currie Cup, the Sharks won 30-14 in Witbank.
Pumas: 15. MJ Mentz, 14. Deon Scholtz, 13. JW Jonker, 12. Petrus Johannes Jacobus Engelbrecht, 11. Ashwin Scott, 10. Ricardo Croy, 9. Shaun Venter, 8. Christo le Roux, 7. Jaco Bouwer, 6. Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5. Marius Coetzer, 4. Willem Serfontein, 3. Ashley Buys, 2. Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1. De-Jay Terblanche
Substitutes: 16. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17. Brett Nel, 18. Eduan Van Der Walt, 19. RW Kember, 20. Tian Carel Meyer, 21. Tiaan Marx, 22. Carl Bezuidenhout
Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Mark Richards, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Louis Ludik, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Julian Redelinghuys/Eugene van Staden, 18 Jan Andre Marais, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Jacobus Reinach, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Sibusiso Sithole