Planet Rugby

Preview: Pumas v Sharks

28th August 2014 12:51

Share:

Tonderai Chavhanga Sharks v Pumas CC 2014

Sharks dangerman: Tonderai Chavhanga

The Sharks' unbeaten record faces another stern test when they take on the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.

The defending champions and last year's runners-up, Western Province, are the only two sides yet to taste defeat in the competition but the Durban-based outfit came close to surrendering their unbeaten status when they came from behind to beat the Free State Cheetahs last weekend.

And Sharks head coach Brad Macleod-Henderson expects a tough battle against the Pumas who are yet to lose at their home venue this season.

"The Pumas have done very well, they're a strong prospect at home and undefeated in Nelspruit," Macleod-Henderson told the Sharks' official website.

"They had another good win on the weekend against Griquas and they rolled Free State over in the first round of the competition, also at Mbombela Stadium, so we know it's not going to be easy."

The Pumas head into this clash brimming with confidence as they secured a try-scoring bonus-point in their 32-15 victory over Griquas last weekend.

The men from Nelspruit's coach Jimmy Stonehouse has made some changes to his starting line-up. In the back-line, Dylon Frylinck - who was in the Stormers set-up earlier this year - comes in at scrum-half.

He comes in for Reynier van Rooyen, who was injured in the Griquas encounter. JW Bell also returns to the run-on side to make his 50th Pumas appearance as a replacement for Heinrich Steyl while SA Sevens flyer Rosko Speckman takes over from Jerome Pretorius on the left wing.

There are no changes amongst the forwards, but utility back Coenie van Wyk returns to action via the bench after recovering from injury.

These side also faced each other in Durban two weeks ago and the Pumas stood their ground for most of that match before the Sharks claimed a 34-17 victory.

Macleod-Henderson feels both teams will use that match to analyse their opponents' respective strengths and weaknesses.

"There are things they would have learnt about us from our first round game, and things we will recall from their game," he added.

"Our drive worked very well against them, so they will probably put some work into trying to stop that.

"We played with some nice width and created some opportunities on the outside, so they will be looking to shore up the drive and defensively make sure there are no opportunities on the outside."

Prediction: The Pumas will put up a brave fight but the Sharks' experience will prove decisive in the end. It will be tight but the Sharks will win by three points!

The teams:

Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosko Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dylon Frylick, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Corné Steenkamp (c), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 DeJay Terblanché, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 JC Roos, 22 Coenie van Wyk.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 JC Astle, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Johan Meyer, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Lionel Cronje.

Date: Friday, August 29
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Ben Crouse
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johan Greeff

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26