Pumas keep their winning formula
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse kept the fait in the team that has taken the union to the brink of the Currie Cup play-offs.
Stonehouse made only minor tweaks to the team that beat the Cheetahs last week, for this coming Saturday’s Round 14 crunch encounter with Griquas in Kimberley.
Griquas, third on the standings with 33 points, and the Pumas (fourth, 32) are in a shootout for the two remaining places in the semifinals – with the table-topping Bulls (44) and second-placed Sharks (40) already secured of home ground advantage.
The Sharks can ensure both Griquas and Pumas advance, regardless of their result, by beating Western Province (fifth, 30) in Durban.
Stonehouse made just three changes to the team that beat the Cheetahs 28-19 in Nelspruit last week.
Ali Mgijima replaces Matt More at inside centre in the only backline change.
Niel Otto, an openside flank, replaces Phumzile Maqondwana in the back row – giving the Pumas more options at the breakdown.
Morgan Naude returns at loosehead prop in place of Dewald Maritz in the only other change in the starting XV.
Ruan Kramer, comes in as front row cover on the bench, with Maqondwana dropping down to the bench.
Alwayno Visage comes in as utility back on the bench.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Sebastián de Klerk, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Niel Otto, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter van Vuuren (captain), 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Eduan Swart, 17 Ruan Kramer, 18 Ignatius Prinsloo, 19 Kwanda Dimaza, 20 Phumzile Maqondwana, 21 Chriswill September, 22 Alwayno Visage, 23 Tapiwa Mafura.
Date: Saturday, August 28
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT)
Referee: Cwengilie Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby, local appointment
TMO: Ben Crouse