Preview: Pumas vs Leopards
Injuries have wreaked havoc at both the Ford Pumas and the Platinum Leopards this season.
The two teams at the bottom of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division face each other at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
The Pumas will be confident after securing their first victory of the season last weekend in Kimberley, while the Leopards hold the edge over the team from Mpumalanga after winning their first-round encounter.
Leopards coach Leon Boshoff realises his team have a big task on their hands against a Pumas side that have been unlucky in a number of their games so far this season.
“With all our injuries, this game against the Pumas will be a very big test of character, but we’ve shown a lot of character so far this season and I’m confident the guys can do it again,” said Boshoff.
Last year, the Ford Pumas won both their encounters against the Platinum Leopards, but the side from North West turned the tide earlier this season in Potchefstroom.
Key Battle: The battle of the halfback pairings – their decision-making and execution - will largely determine the outcome of the match.
Referee: Pro Legoete.
Last Meeting: Platinum Leopards 27-15 Ford Pumas (Potchefstroom).
Prediction: There was a hint of complacency on the part of the Form Pumas when the minnows last met after they had pushed the bigger unions close.
The surprise loss in Potchefstroom will ensure that the Ford Pumas won’t underestimate the Platinum Leopards for a second time and this, in turn, will result in them turning the tables and recording a win by seven points.
Friday 23 September: Ford Pumas vs. Platinum Leopards, Nelspruit (19:00)
Ford Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Wilhelm Loock, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Siviwe Magaba, 11 Johan Jackson, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Brett Nel, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 17 Michael de Nieully Rice, 18 Eduan van der Walt, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Dewald Pretorius, 22 Carl Bezuidenhout.
Platinum Leopards: 15 George Tossel, 14 Hoffman Maritz, 13 Charl Weideman, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Jovan Bowles, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Johann Laker, 8 Robert Kruger, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Bradley Mockford, 4 Brendon Snyman, 3 Berend Botha, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Jean Rossouw.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Dewald Coetzee, 18 Juan Pretorius, 19 Dries van Schalkwyk, 20 Liam Slatem, 21 Wynand Willis, 22 Clayton Durand.