The Pumas have announced two changes to their starting line-up for what promises to be a challenging test against the unbeaten Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday night.
Kevin Luiters has been given a chance at scrumhalf ahead of Emile Temperman, who is nursing a minor quad contusion but is fit enough to be included in the replacements. In the only other change, Heinrich Steyl comes in at fullback for the benched Devon Williams.
“Heinrich has been a regular starter for us in the past and made a good impact off the bench last week, and Kevin has also played well for us at scrumhalf. But the changes this week weren’t so much about form or injury, they are more a part of our rotational structures,” said Steval Pumas coach, MJ Mentz.
The starting forward pack from last week remains unchanged. Promising young lock Jeremy Jordaan, who has been hampered by illness since he joined the Steval Pumas earlier this season, has been listed on the bench and will be looking forward to making his debut appearance for the franchise.
Mentz said that he was happy with the attacking ability showed by his side in the 31-23 away loss to Western Province, but will have to make improvements in defence to counteract the explosive Cheetahs.
“We’ll be looking to strike a better balance between attack and defence this week. The Cheetahs pose a huge attacking threat and love to run the ball from their own half, so it’s vital that we make our one-on-one tackles. The guys are definitely more confident after their performance in Cape Town so we’ll be carrying that positivity into the game too,” Mentz said.
The match gets underway at 18:45 on Friday evening.
Pumas – 15 Heinrich Steyl, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 Hoffman Maritz, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Jean-Paul Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Renaldo Bothma (Captain), 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Louis Alberts, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements – 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Jeremy Jordaan, 19 Carel Greef, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Devon Williams, 22 Tyler Fisher.