Pumas on the brink

Pumas coach Chris Grobler is expecting a Blue Bulls backlash when the two teams clash in the Absa Currie Cup on Saturday.

But he is confident his team can withstand the onslaught and emerge with their first victory of the current Currie Cup campaign. A defeat for the visitors could already spell disaster at this early stage of the season.

After stumbling to a loss at the hands of Luke Watson’s Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, the Bulls are in danger of losing touch with the front-runners in the race for a home semi-final.

With the Sharks a good bet to get maximum points against Griquas in Kimberley and the on-fire Cheetahs travelling to Newlands, they could both stretch the gap even more if the Bulls stumble.

“The Bulls will be more dangerous now they have lost,” Grobler told keo.co.za. “They can’t afford to lose another at this stage of the season especially with the Cheetahs and Sharks in top form.”

The Cheetahs and Sharks are the only unbeaten teams after three rounds, with Rassie Erasmus’s defending champions taking a full house of 15 points from a possible 15. The Sharks have also impressed and have 14 points to show for their efforts so far. The Bulls and Province follow in third and fourth place on 10 points, with the Bulls ahead on points difference.

And the Bulls must not expect any favours from their neighbours in Witbank on Saturday. “We always compete better at home, as we showed against Western Province in the first round, and I feel we are on the brink of something big,” said Grobler.

“The players are frustrated after letting chances slip away in the first three games, but that is more due to a lack of concentration than lack of talent.”

By Andrew Hollely