Johannesburg - Steval Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has blasted his team after their 31-27 loss to GWK Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
The supersport.com website reports, Stonehouse didn’t hold back as he said his team’s performance was nowhere near their normal standards and that he expected an improvement this weekend as they head to Ellis Park to face the Xerox Golden Lions in their next Absa Currie Cup match.
“I think it was the worst performance we have given in the history of Puma rugby,” Stonehouse said.
“Especially when you take into account some players’ performances, which are supposed to be at a high level, but were unbelievably poor. The personal mistakes and faults were things that cost us, but despite that we could have still won the game at the end, but it didn’t happen.
“Now our path forward is just a lot tougher and it will take a lot of hard work from the players to get back to the top.”
With the Lions presenting a tough challenge for the Pumas as the cross-section games begin, but Stonehouse doesn’t foresee too many changes to the team ahead of the clash.
“I’m not planning to change too much, we always need to focus on our strengths, we know how to play them, and that they throw the ball around a lot, and that their level of mistakes is low. One of their biggest strengths is their ability and skills that they have to get ball in contact areas. Our players will need to be at their best and need to move across the field quickly and stand up in the setpieces.
“Still there is no reason we cannot beat them on their home field.”
With this in mind, the Pumas have no serious injuries after the weekend’s loss, with Marius Coetzer (ankle), Rosko Specman (ankle), JW Jonker (knee) and Giant Mtyanda (ITB injury) all being given some rest on Monday but will be fit to play this weekend.