Johannesburg - Pumas coach MJ Mentz expects his Lions
counterpart Johan Ackermann to make a few tactical changes for their Absa Currie Cup
match at Ellis Park after some of his players featured for the Johannesburg
side during this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
Nippy scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and prop Corne Fourie
featured prominently for the Lions earlier this season and are well versed in
their game plan.
“Johan Ackermann is a wily coach and I am sure he will
make plans to ensure Corne and Faf don't pick up on their game plan,”
Mentz said in Nelspruit on Wednesday.
“We’ve seen the type of rugby the Lions can play
and we have a fairly good idea of what to expect.”
Mentz persisted with the team that pulled off a 33-24
victory over the Sharks in Nelspruit last Friday.
Last year’s trip to Johannesburg ended in a 29-15 defeat
for the Pumas with their playoff ambitions taking a nose dive in the latter
stages of the 2014 tournament.
Mentz says the Lions make full use of their advantage of
playing at altitude by running visiting teams off their feet.
That is the tactic the Johannesburg team used last year
in their defeat of the Pumas and Mentz believes his side need to ‘fight
fire with fire’.
The Pumas have placed a high premium on conditioning and
hope to be able to match the expansive-minded Lions.
“Up front I expect them to ask a few questions of us and
in particular their loose trio will pose a challenge as they cover a lot of territory
and are quick at the breakdowns,” he said.
“The Lions play a flowing game where they like to spread
the ball across the field and at altitude they try to run you ragged.”
Last Friday, the Mpumalanga side romped to a 27-7 lead at the
half-time break thanks to a five-pointer to captain Stefan Watermeyer and a
brace by Marnus Schoeman before allowing the Sharks back into the match in the
Mentz said his charges made too many unforced errors and
conceded too much turnover ball as they chased a bonus-point try.
“Our tempo slowed in the second half and there were too
many mistakes on attack while we conceded too many turnovers which got them
back into the match.”
The Pumas mentor praised the kicking performance of
flyhalf JC Roos who slotted four penalties and three conversions to keep the
Sharks at bay.
“JC is in a good place and he has a lot of confidence
which is reflected in his game at the moment where he gets us into the right
areas with his long touch kicks while he also didn’t miss a shot at goal,” he
Ruan Combrinck, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Howard
Mnisi, 11. Sampie Mastriet/Anthony Volmink , 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9.
Ross Cronje, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain),
5. Martin Muller, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Malcolm
Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17.
Ruan Dreyer, 18. MB Lusaseni, 19. Steph de Wit, 20. Lohan Jacobs, 21.
Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Jaco van der Walt
JW Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer
(captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Lambert
Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4
Giant Mtyanda, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jason-Colin Fraser, 19 Jaco
Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz