Planet Rugby

Stonehouse hails Pumas' intensity

10th August 2014 13:57

Share:

Jimmy Stonehouse Pumas coach CC 2014

Delighted: Jimmy Stonehouse

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse praised his team's intensity in their surprise 28-21 victory over the Free State Cheetahs at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The Pumas were playing their first game in the top flight since 2011, but they out-scored the Cheetahs by three tries to two and were worthy winners on the opening weekend of Currie Cup action.

"It was our first game up in the Premier Division and the players were obviously a bit tense, but the intensity was brilliant and the guys refused to lay down," explained Stonehouse.

"We were under pressure in the first 10 minutes and it was great to come back the way that we did."

The Pumas coach is undaunted by the scale of the task ahead of them in the Premier Division and said he expects his team to win at home.

"Playing at home is a great advantage for us, but if we want to make the semi-finals then winning at home is a must, and we have to win away from home too," added Stonehouse.

"It's obviously a good to start with a win like that at home, but at least getting bonus points away from home is what we're aiming for.

"Our scrums obviously went well and we also set up our mauls brilliantly, but we made life difficult for ourselves by losing a couple of lineouts. We also need to play into space a bit more."

There had been an outpouring of angst in the Free State recently after the Cheetahs' dismal Super Rugby performance and new coach Rory Duncan was fielding a new-look side in Nelspruit.

"The majority of the side only came together two or three weeks ago, so mistakes were understandable," said Duncan.

"But we made too many simple mistakes, knocking-on four or five times in the Pumas' 22.

"It's early season though, there's obviously still a lot of work to do and I wasn't too disappointed by the effort."

The Free State coach was heartened by his team's ability to hang on to possession for long periods, but admitted his side had been dominated by the Pumas in the scrums.

"We battled in the scrums, but we still managed to hang on to possession through numerous phases, a few times we took the ball from our own 10m line to their 22," added Duncan.

"We had opportunities to win, but mistakes cost us.

"But you have to give credit as well to the Pumas and Jimmy for the way the guys came out, they were fired up. They're a good side and if you don't bring your A-game to Nelspruit, you will get caught out."

  • Currie Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
  • Currie Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
Saturday , September 13
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Friday , September 12
Eastern Province Kings 13 - 28 Blue BullsEastern Province Kings vs Blue Bulls Report
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs 17 - 31 PumasCheetahs vs Pumas Report
Sharks 18 - 21 GriquasSharks vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 36 - 26 LionsBlue Bulls vs Lions Report
Friday , September 5
Western Province 49 - 14 Eastern Province Kings
Saturday , August 30
Griquas 25 - 36 Cheetahs
More Currie Cup results
  • Currie Cup Table
Overall 2014
Currie Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Golden Lions725
2Western Province624
3Pumas719
4Sharks616
5Cheetahs614