Currie Cup

Pumas host Cheetahs in crucial clash

2015-09-29 15:39
MJ Mentz (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The cicadas will be in full song when the Pumas host the Free State Cheetahs in their crucial Currie Cup clash in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The Cheetahs will be no strangers to the 13:15 kick-off following their 73-31 demolition at the hands of the Golden Lions in Bloemfontein over the weekend.

The searing heat did little to stifle running rugby and instead a total of 15 tries were scored, 10 by the Lions.

The match in the Mpumalanga capital could be even tougher with the Lowveld heat set to make things difficult for both teams with the mercury expected to rise to 31 degrees Celsius.

Pumas coach MJ Mentz said it will be a make-or-break match for both sides as a defeat could mean the end of their 2015 campaigns.

“It is an important week for us where we take on the Cheetahs at 13:15 in Nelspruit which should be a really warm match,” Mentz said.

“It is a crucial game for them as well, it will be like a knockout match, the team that win here stand a good chance of qualifying for the semis.

“We just need to remain positive and focus on the things that worked for us over the weekend.”

The Pumas’ match against Western Province over the weekend produced fireworks of its own with the Capetonians scoring seven tries to the three by the Mpumalanga side.

Going into the half-time break the Pumas enjoyed a 19-15 lead over the defending champions, before WP ran away with the match in the second half.

“It was a match of two halves where we had a good first half placing good pressure on WP and scoring three good tries,” Mentz said.

“Individual mistakes and unforced errors played into their hands allowing them three easy tries.”

The Cheetahs have one hand on a playoff berth, lying in fourth place on the log on 18 points, while the Pumas are sixth on 13 points with two rounds left in the regular season.


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