Pumas captain Ashieq Wise is focussing on the positives ahead of tomorrow night’s crunch Absa Currie Cup clash with the Sharks in Witbank.
The Pumas have proved to be something of a bogey team for the Sharks at @lantic Park in recent seasons. In fact the Sharks have not won there in the last three years.
Last year the two teams did not play each other in the Currie Cup, but in 2004 and 2003, the Sharks fell victim to the Pumas prowess. “We spoke about that this morning,” Wise told keo.co.za. “The last two times they have come here we have won. We are using that as a motivational tool. We are also going to have to play hard with plenty of guts and determination if we hope to win.”
In 2003 the Pumas won 35-27 and the following year they triumphed 30-13. Tomorrow they will need to dig deep if they hope to extend their hold over the Sharks in Witbank.
“We are targeting the last five games for three wins. We have to believe we can still finish on a high. And that includes tomorrow’s game. For us to knock over one of the big guns, it will make a huge difference to our season.”
The Pumas team shows five changes from that which was thrashed by Griquas last weekend. Sacha Marot returns in place of Sam Gerber at outside centre. Gerber drops to the bench.
Other changes in the backline include Hyron Thyse at left wing for Lourens Dunn and Arno Coetzee returning to flyhalf for the sick Quinton van Tonder. Up front Danzel Manuel comes in at flank, while Johan Prins replaces Simon-Peter Blakeley at loosehead prop.
Pumas team to play the Sharks: 15 Oginga Siwundla, 14 Darryl Coeries, 13 Sasha Marot, 12 BC du Plessis, 11 Hyron Thyse, 10 Arno Coetzee, 9 Ashieq Wise (captain), 8 Schalk van der Merwe, 7 Danzel Manuel, 6 Corne Steenkamp, 5 Jacques Lombaard, 4 Bokkie Swanepoel, 3 Pierre du Toit, 2 Ashton Constant, 1 Johan Prins.
Replacements: 16 Frikkie de Jager, 17 Sean Johnson, 18 Paul Schreuder, 19 Jonathan van der Schyff, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Pieter Benade, 22. Sam Gerber.
By Andrew Hollely