Positive Pumas ready for Bulls

Pumas coach Chris Grobler has named a strong team to take on the Blue Bulls in an Absa Currie Cup clash on Saturday.

It is a team he feels can take a leaf from the Crusaders’ and Western Province book and stretch the Bulls wide. “That is how you beat the Blue Bulls and I have picked this team specifically with that game plan in mind,” Pumas coach Chris Grobler told keo.co.za.

First though the Pumas need to get on the front foot at the scrums and lineouts. With that in mind he has brought back experienced tighthead prop Pierre du Toit.

In total, Grobler has made two changes to the team that went down fighting 34-16 to the Sharks in Durban last Friday – one tactical and the other enforced by injury.

Corne Steenkamp comes in for Duane Vermeulen, who injured his ankle against the Sharks and du Toit returns to beef up the front-row.

“Duane is a big loss for us and he will be out for at least a couple of weeks,” Grobler admitted, “but getting Pierre back is great news. This is the strongest possible team I could pick at the moment.”

Grobler believes his team is more than capable of causing an upset against their more illustrious neighbours, despite having yet to register a victory in this years’ campaign. “I firmly believe this team is close to upsetting one of the big guns and perhaps it will happen on Saturday, but if not it will happen soon.”

Pumas team v Blue Bulls:

15. Casper Steyn, 14. Sacha Marot, 13. Sam Gerber, 12. Hendrik Meyer, 11. Hyron Thyse, 10. Pieter Benade, 9. Ashieq Wise; 8. Riaan van der Merwe (captain), 7. Danzel Manuel, 6. Corne Steenkamp, 5. Jacques Lombaard, 4. Bokkie Swanepoel, 3. Pierre du Toit, 2. Ashton Constant, 1. Jacques Muller.
Replacements: 16. Frikkie de Jager, 17. Simon-Peter Blakeley, 18. Jonathan van der Schyff, 19. Paul Schreuder, 20. Neil Cole, 21. Arno Coetzee, 22. Neil Visagie.

By Andrew Hollely