The Boland Cavaliers will look for their second win of the tournament when they take on the Pumas in Wellington on Friday.
Boland are coming off a big loss against the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend when they got a wholloping to the tune of 60-12. The Wellington men have recorded one victory so far this season and will need to use this opportunity to gain some momentum going forward in the competition.
Currently eighth on the log, the Pumas haven’t had an ideal start to the Currie Cup, but have a good chance of bagging their first win of the campaign when they face Boland.
Pumas coach MJ Mentz recognised that the side is under some pressure after three losses in a row.
"We know that week in, week out there will be some form of pressure, but we are always motivated to start each week on a new page. We have a good chance for a win against Boland, especially after playing much better rugby against Griquas. Boland are a well-trained and experienced team and the pitch in Wellington is always heavier under foot, so we need to play the right type of game," Mentz said.
Boland have had to make a few late changes due to injuries. Zandre Jordaan (number eight) and Basil Short (prop) have been withdrawn from the squad as they have been assessed to be unfit to take part in this week’s Currie Cup Premier Division match. The duo have been replaced in the starting line-up by Hanno Kitshoff and Enoch Mnyaka respectively. Another change sees loosehead prop SP Wessels playing from the bench, with Linda Thwala being named in the run-on team.
Jordaan’s exclusion has resulted in a number of positional changes, with loose-forward Jacques Engelbrecht shifting from flank to number eight. Shaun McDonald will start at blindside flank, with Kitshoff taking his place at lock.
The only other change to the team sees Ockie van Zyl being included in the match 22 as a reserve lock. Full-back Nico Scheepers is still recovering from an ankle strain. Utility back Gerrit van Wyk will get a rare start at right wing in the place of Torrens, while centre Robbie Louw, son of former Springbok loose-forward Rob Louw, has been included on the bench.
The Pumas boss is putting faith in the new combinations which started against Griquas. Emile Temperman, Leighton van Wyk, Devon Williams, Bernado Botha and JP Lewis retain their places in what is a youthful backline, balanced by the experience of fly-half Francois Brummer. Hennie Skorbinski is sitting out with a hamstring strain and will be replaced by the talented Tyler Fisher at outside centre. Renaldo Bothma starts at number eight with Hugo Kloppers resuming starting duties at lock. Jannie Stander will partner him in place of the benched Wiehan Hey. Marne Coetzee is tentatively down to start at tighthead prop, pending on the status of Louis Albertse’s knee injury.
The last time these teams met: The Pumas were able to just pip the Cavaliers 12-10 in a close game at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Pumas number 10 Justin van Staden was the star of the game as his four penalties were just enough to get his side the win.
Prediction: Boland have looked like an ever growing side this competition and should have too much flair for the home-side. Boland by eight.
For Boland: 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Gerrit van Wyk, 13 Christopher Bosch, 12 Ryan Nel (c), 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Basil Short, 2 Clemen Lewis, 1 SP Wessels
Replacements: 16 Francois Esterhuizen, 17 Enoch Mnyaka, 18 Hanno Kitshoff, 19 Wayne Wilschut, 20 Kenan Cronje, 21 Gerhard Jordaan, 22 Robbie Louw
For Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Tyler Fisher, 12 Leighton van Wyk, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Renaldo Bothma (c), 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jannie Stander, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Frank Herne, 1 De-Jay Terblanché.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Wiehan Hay, 19 Lambert Groenewald, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Marlou van Niekerk, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell
Date: Friday, September 2
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Divan Uys
TMO: Shaun Veldsman