Lions inspire Pumas

The Pumas are hoping to take a leaf out of the Lions’ book as they aim to resurrect their stuttering Absa Currie Cup campaign.

The Lions have transformed themselves from the laughing stock of the competition into genuine contenders in the matter of a few weeks. And, while the Pumas have no chance of making the semi-finals captain Ashieq Wise believes they can still upset some of the big guns.

“Look at how the Lions have now become genuine contenders,” Wise told keo.co.za. “All it takes is one win and the belief comes back and the confidence levels go up. They have won three in-a-row. I certainly hope we can learn from their reversal in fortunes.”

“We played much better on Saturday against Western Province,” Wise said. “I don’t think the final score-line was a fair reflection of the balance of the game.”

The Pumas ended up losing 43-10, after trailing just 17-10 at the break. “That should have been 17-16 because we missed two penalties. We probably had about 60% of the possession and that would have been far fairer reflection.”

But as has become the custom with Chris Grobler’s outfit, 15 minutes of madness cost them the game. “Like in virtually all our games so far we lost concentration for a few minutes and they scored three tries. After that we were struggling.”

The period came at the start of the second half and ultimately swung the match Province’s way. “We played well for the first 40 minutes and then again for the last 25. Apart from the lapse I think that was some of the best rugby we have played all year. Hopefully we can build on that.”

The Pumas though will have to do so without No 8 Riaan van der Merwe (knee) and flyhalf Arno Coetzee (concussion) for their next match against Griquas in Witbank on Friday night.

By Andrew Hollely