Bulls loose trio a threat says Stonehouse
NEWS: The Pumas’ Jimmy Stonehouse, coach of the defending Currie Cup champions, identifies the Bulls loose trio as the main threat in the upcoming Currie Cup clash this weekend.
The Bulls travel to Nelspruit as underdogs and would be out to improve their standing on the log. But Stonehouse’s team, currently third on the log, will not be too giving come this Saturday.
Stonehouse says these players together with the rest of the team who previously featured in the United Rugby Championship is just something that he and his team need to contend with.
“We want to measure ourselves against the best. The previous time we played the Bulls, they had around 13 URC players in the team. And if you read what Bulls president Willem Strauss says, they have 51 contracted players of which 48 played URC this year, then it is something we know we have to contend with,” Stonehouse said.
“I think their danger lies in the two locks they are bringing in as well as the loose trio of Marcell Coetzee, Cyle Brink and Elrigh Louw.
“But we cannot control what they are doing, we can only control our own actions and what we are going to do,” the experienced coach said.
Stonehouse is very aware that the top six teams are all vying not only for a spot in the semifinals, but ideally to secure a home semifinal.
“We had the easiest opportunity to secure a home semifinal, but the loss against the Sharks and last weekend against Western Province bit us, because we also didn’t get any points out of that game.
“We have to win our remaining fixtures. The Bulls will definitely bring a full URC team and they will have something to prove after their previous loss against us.
Stonehouse says the loss of all three hookers, Eduan Swart, Jacques Momberg and Llewellyn Claasen does not make things easier.
“Besides the hookers, we also lost JW Meades and Ig Prinsloo at tighthead as well as Sebastian de Klerk and Jade Stighling. That alone is six players who played in the final last year.
“If we can get our set phases right, we will be alright,” Stonehouse said.
He commented that attractive rugby draws the crowds, but it is defence that wins games and agreed that defence is definitely one of his teams’ strong points. Considering they have scored the most tries (52) and conceded the least (29) they certainly have the right make-up to beat any side.