Changes hamper Pumas progress

The Pumas chances of getting their first win of the Absa Currie Cup campaign against Griquas this weekend look decidedly slim.

Coach Chris Grobler has made eight changes, including three positional switches, to the team that played last week against Western Province in Cape Town. That team showed 11 changes from their previous outing.

And that has been the pattern of the Pumas season. Most of the changes are injury enforced and make the rest of the team shuffle around as a result.

The most notable inclusion is former Lions flyhalf Quintin van Tonder in for the injured Arno Coetzee, while No 8 Riaan van der Merwe has again been ruled out with a knee injury and his place is taken by Schalk van der Merwe, who moves from flank.

The other changes are: Darryl Coeries comes in on the right wing for Lourens Dunn who switches to left wing in place of Hyron Thyse, Sam Gerber moves from inside centre to outside for Sacha Marot, who drops to the bench and BC du Plessis starts at No 12. Up front the disruption is not as huge.

Apart from Schalk van der Merwe replacing Riaan van der Merwe, either Jonathan van der Schyff or Duan Vermeulen will start in the No 7 jersey and Jacques Lombaard starts at lock ahead of Danzel Manual, who reverts to the bench.

Pumas team to play Griquas: 15 Oginga Siwundla, 14 Darryl Coeries, 13 Sam Gerber, 12 BC du Plessis, 11 Lourens Dunn, 10 Quintin van Tonder, 9 Ashieq Wise (captain); 8 Schalk van der Merwe, 7 Jonathan van der Schyff/Duane Vermeulen, 6 Corne Steenkamp, 5 Jaques Lombaard, 4 Bokkie Swanepoel, 3 Pierre du Toit, 2 Ashton Constant, 1 Simon-Peter Blakeley.
Replacements: 16 Frikkie de Jager, 17 Sean Johnson, 18 Stephan Gerber, 19 Danzel Manual, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Pieter Benade, 22 Sacha Marot.

By Andrew Hollely