Currie Cup

Pumas ready for Sharks battle

2014-08-14 08:35
Corné Steenkamp (Gallo Images)
Nelspruit - Pumas captain Corné Steenkamp says the Currie Cup victory over the Cheetahs has given his players plenty of confidence ahead of their next clash against the Sharks this weekend.

The Pumas picked up an impressive 28-21 win over Free State in Nelspruit to start their Currie Cup campaign on a positive note.

The hosts outscored their opponents three tries to two, while flyhalf Justin van Staden slotted two conversions and three penalties for an individual tally of 13 points.

Steenkamp, who featured among the try-scorers, applauded the Pumas tight five for their contribution.

"We had the upper hand at the scrums. The front row and locks really packed down well against the Cheetahs. They deserve most of the credit," Steenkamp told the MyPlayers website. "This set the momentum as we also did well at the breakdowns. When we had the chance to poach possession, we did well in the contest.

"Otherwise, we spread our defensive line effectively and restricted the Cheetahs on attack. We also took most of our try-scoring opportunities, so it was good overall performance."

Steenkamp told MyPlayers earlier this month that his team is aiming for tournament semi-final place. He believes the win over the Cheetahs is proof that they can beat the so-called "big unions".

"Not many people would pick the Pumas in the final four," said Steenkamp. "But the team is gunning for a play-off spot, so last weekend's result will not only prove to many people that we can compete in the Currie Cup this season, but it will also instil belief among ourselves."

The Pumas face a tough game this weekend as they travel to Durban to face defending champions the Sharks. Steenkamp said they'll be focusing on certain areas ahead of their challenge at Kings Park on Friday.

"We weren't happy with our work at the lineouts, so that's something we need to improve," said Steenkamp. "The Sharks are also dangerous with ball in hand, so we'll need to continue our good work at the breakdown and ensure our defence is solid."

Kick-off for the clash at Kings Park is scheduled for 19:10 on Friday.



15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S'bura Sithole, 12. Paul Jordaan, 11. Tonderai Chavhanga, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Cameron Wright 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Ettienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. JC Astle, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17. Matt Stevens, 18. Johan Meyer, 19. Francois Kleinhans, 20. Hanco Venter, 21. Patrick Lambie, 22. Lionel Cronjé


15 JW Bell, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 DeJay Terblanche, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Vincent Koch

Substitutes: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Snake Nyoka, 21 JC Roos, 22 Jerome Pretorius  

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