Patchwork Pumas set for pummelling

The Pumas have not won a game in 10 attempts and have had to make seven changes for tomorrow night’s clash with the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

The Bulls are poised to get their campaign back on track with a thumping win. In the first round the Bulls triumphed 48-17 and it could be even more emphatic tomorrow night.

Loftus Versfeld has been kind to a few teams this year, but that courtesy is unlikely to extend to the Pumas. With just three points to their name and virtually guaranteed of finishing last in the competition, the Pumas travel to Loftus on a hiding to nothing.

They were only able to name their squad today as a result of a string of injuries which has impacted on them all season.

Injury and illness have plagued them all season, while the form of several players has been erratic at best. The most notable omission from last week’s team that was thrashed 82-14 by the Sharks is captain and scrumhalf Ashieq Wise.

He has been dropped to the bench, with Neil Cole starting. Former Lions No 10 Quinton van Tonder gets a start after missing out last week and is also entrusted with the captain’s armband. Arno Coetzee switches from flyhalf to inside centre with BC du Plessis moving from there to outside centre.

Up front Jonathan van der Schyff replaces Danzel Manual at flank, Stefan Gerber starts at lock with Bokkie Swanepoel reverting to the bench and Frikkie de Jager will wear the No 2 jersey ahead of Ashton Constant.

The Pumas will do very well to avoid another bonus point defeat against a Bulls team smarting from a loss against Western Province.

The match kicks-off at 7pm.

Pumas team to play the Blue Bulls: 15 Oginga Siwundla, 14 Darryl Coeries, 13 BC du Plessis, 12 Arno Coetzee, 11 Hyron Thyse, 10 Quinton van Tonder (captain), 9 Neil Cole, 8 Schalk van der Merwe, 7 Jonathan van der Schyff, 6 Corne Steenkamp, 5 Jacques Lombaard, 4 Stefan Gerber, 3 Pierre du Toit, 2 Frikkie de Jager, 1 Johan Prins.
Replacements: 16 Morné Kruger, 17 Sean Johnson, 18 Bokkie Swanepoel, 19 Danzel Manual, 20 Ashieq Wise, 21 Pieter Benade, 22. Jóvan Botha.

By Andrew Hollely

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