Currie Cup

Pumas' dream comes true

2014-08-08 19:17
Jimmy Stonehouse (File)

Nelspruit - Since the Pumas were dropped from the Currie Cup Premier Division two years ago when the competition was reduced to six teams, coach Jimmy Stonehouse has campaigned fiercely for his team's return to the big leagues.

Stonehouse has since instilled the belief in his charges they are good enough to be counted among the top teams in South Africa.

His dream was finally realised and they will have their first opportunity to prove their worth when they take on the Free State Cheetahs in the Lowveld on Saturday evening.

"The will was there to fight for a sixth place (to get into the Premier Division) and now we are aiming for a fifth place because we don't want to be involved in promotion/relegation again," Stonehouse said about their re-entry.

In order for the Pumas to guarantee their place in the competition to stay away from the promotion/relegation zone, they need to win their home matches.

"We have to get the points in our home matches and get the bonus points in the away games," he said.

Since the team's move to Mbombela (Nelspruit) at the end of 2012, they have steadily improved.

Their impressive run throughout 2013 included a 16-match unbeaten record in the Currie Cup First Division.

Although they beat the Griquas, who were the weakest Premier Division team to win promotion, playing at a higher level would be considerably more testing.

The Cheetahs in turn would hope for a revival through the change in coaching personnel, with Rory Duncan named Currie Cup coach.

The Pumas would have the humid Lowveld climate as an ally during the competition.

The Cheetahs have not won the Currie Cup since 2007 and will be desperate to get their hands on the coveted trophy for the fifth time.

Read more on:    currie cup  |  rugby

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