Pumas 'envy' the Kings

Wed, 05 Feb 2014 07:14
Large jimmy stonehouse happy Large jimmy stonehouse points Large jimmy stonehouse h s

The Pumas may have secured their place in the Currie Cup competition, but they are still worse of than the Eastern Province Kings.

The Pumas may have secured their place in the Currie Cup competition, but they are still worse of than the Eastern Province Kings.

This is the view of outspoken Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, who told this website their newfound status as a Premier Division team has not brought them any more privileges than the Kings - a First Division outfit who will be given a free passage into Super Rugby in 2016 and may even be given a similar guarantee on the domestic stage if the South African Rugby Union can convince the province to vote for an expanded eight-team Currie Cup competition.

The lack of dept at the Nelspruit-based outfit was evident when they lost 6-31 to a near full-strength Cheetahs team in a pre-season outing last weekend.

Injuries and call-ups to the Lions Super Rugby team robbed Stonehouse of a sizable chunk of his frontline selections.

And there is no indication that he will be able to rush in some top-flight reinforcements ahead of the Currie Cup competition later this year.

"You still require money to get players and we don't have the luxury of a lot of money," Stonehouse told this website.

"People always think the moment you play [in the] Currie Cup [competition] the money automatically starts rolling in, but that is not true."

He added that sponsors are often very cautious, worrying that new teams will suffer mostly big defeats in South Africa's premier domestic competition - where the big guns have the luxury of Super Rugby experience to fall back on.

The Pumas may have been convincing winners in their two-match promotion-relegation series against Griquas last year, but that won't guarantee them success against the big guns - the five Super Rugby franchises.

"I would have loved to have been in the Kings' situation, knowing that come 2016 you will play Super Rugby," he said of his struggles to lure some big names to Nelspruit.

"That gives you a long-term negotiating option, where you can get people to sponsor you," Stonehouse said of the Kings' ability to use the Super Rugby carrot.

"And not knowing if you are in or out [of the Currie Cup competition] every year makes it even more difficult [to get sponsors].

"That is why it is vital to ensure you finish in the top five and that is our goal [for the season].

"We realise it is a tall order, but that is what we are aiming for - if you achieve that, you know you have sponsors that will stand by you in the years to come."

Stonehouse said they lost out in the recruitment race because the promotion-relegation games were so late in the year, which meant they missed the recruitment window and lost out on a number of big names.

"Griquas managed to get away with it for years, by playing in the Currie Cup [competition], which allowed them to lure players for less money.

"The Kings have the advantage that they can use the Super Rugby [in 2016] carrot."

The Pumas mentor said players who are fourth and fifth in the pecking order at the big unions must realise that by playing at the Pumas they could get better exposure and a chance to improve their standing with bigger unions.

"If players come to us and we do well, the unions will lure those players [with more money].

"Players don't realise that, they just want to say they are at the Bulls or Stormers, even though they don't get game time."

By Jan de Koning

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Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
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Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
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Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1