Currie Cup

Pumas expect Lions tactical shift

2015-08-12 21:00
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)

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 second half.

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 said.


Golden Lions

15. 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


15 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.

Replacements: 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

Read more on:    lions  |  pumas  |  currie cup  |  nelspruit  |  johannesburg  |  rugby


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