Durban - The Cell C Sharks have stuck largely with the same side that defeated Free State last week for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup clash with the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
Among the backs, there is just one change where scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann gets his first start after playing off the bench last week, with Cameron Wright coming off the bench later in the game, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.
Among the forwards, JC Astle is back from injury and partners with Etienne Oosthuizen in the second row in the absence of Marco Wentzel, while the front row trio of Matt Stevens, Kyle Cooper and Dale Chadwick remains the same from last week as do the loosies, captain Tera Mtembu, Francois Kleinhans and Jacques Botes .
The first round match, played at Kings Park was a victorious outing for the Sharks, but the Pumas have been unbeatable in Nelspruit.
“The Pumas have done very well, they’re a strong prospect at home and undefeated in Nelspruit,” coach Brand Macleod-Henderson points out. “They had another good win on the weekend against Griquas and they rolled Free State over in the first round of the competition, also at Mbombela Stadium, so we know it’s not going to be easy.”
Both sides will look back to aspects of the match they played in round two to assess any possible strengths and weakness.
“There are things they would have learnt about us from our first round game, and things we will recall from their game,” he explains.
“Our drive worked very well against them, so they will probably put some work into trying to stop that. We played with some nice width and created some opportunities on the outside, so they will be looking to shore up the drive and defensively make sure there are no opportunities on the outside.”
15 JW Bell, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer,
11 Rosko Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dylon Frylick, 8 Renaldo
Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4
Frikkie Spies, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corné Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 DeJay Terblanché, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jaco
Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 JC Roos, 22 Coenie van Wyk
15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Paul Jordaan, 11. Tonderai Chavhanga, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Francois Kleinhans, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. JC Astle, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Matt Stevens, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Lourens Adriaanse, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Johan Meyer, 20. Cameron Wright, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Lionel Cronje