Frustrated Jimmy still has lofty goals
INTERVIEW: Every Currie Cup side has its own goals, and with their play-off chances gone the Pumas have changed their focus.
The Lowveld team’s coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, is hopeful that his side, ravaged by injuries, including their top three flyhalves who are unavailable, could still make the top five in the Currie Cup competition.
“Home games are different for us, and with the heat here, who knows?”
The Pumas have had many close shaves and squandered a bonus point against Western Province last weekend when, just after earning it with a good try.
Then, in an effort to draw the match against Western Province by running phase after phase from their own line last weekend, they conceded a penalty.
From the five-meter line-out followed an inevitable converted try and a 14-point defeat was the Pumas’ fate.
“I think it’s an experience thing because it’s young guys. But Stonehouse is proud of it, saying the most important things were their eagerness to get the win with.
“We still play the Cheetahs at home this weekend and the Lions and Bulls, also at home. Who knows, perhaps we can pick up a few log points in these matches.”
Stonehouse is a frustrated coach as the inexperience of a side without the depth of the big guns fall short too often after gallant battles.
“Yes, it’s the same story every week.
“That is why you’ve got to get out there and teach the players how to handle it next time and do the right things at the right time.
“They got those two tries in the first half, two easy tries, and if you look at the game again they (WP) didn’t do anything to play.
“You make the mistakes, and they get there. That is the pressure of what happens.
“The boys have got to learn to deal with that.”
Stonehouse is nevertheless proud of his team and especially their fighting spirit.
“It is amazing to see how the young guys fight week after week, and to see with how much energy they compete despite the many injuries and other problems. I can’t wait for the next three matches.”