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Griquas vs Pumas promotion-relegation preview

Griquas will have to beat an unbeaten team this year to stay in the Currie Cup

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Article Published: Thursday 17 October 2013

The promotion-relegation clash between Griquas and the Pumas should be thrilling as the teams battle it out to get on the front foot a place in the Currie Cup Premier Division next season.

While Griquas will be disappointed with their performance this season with only one victory in 10 matches, the Pumas will enter the clash on a high after advancing to the First Division final stages unbeaten and keeping that record intact to win the competition last week.

Their confidence aside, the team's attack has been impressive with 76 tries in their 14 pool matches alone, while they have supported this with a solid defensive effort.

These skills will be handy against Griquas whose defence has been their Achilles heel this season. The Kimberley side have also battled to make their presence felt on attack.

However, they have played at a higher level in the Premier Division and will take comfort from the fact that they have put up a brave fight against the top five provincial teams in the country, as they accumulated six bonus points for losing within seven points.

Griquas have welcomed back Springbok wing Willie le Roux, who is expected to be one of their main attacking weapons, while coach Pote Human has recalled all his star players who were rested last week.

This includes centre Howard Mnisi, hooker Ryno Barnes, flyhalf Francois Brummer and flank Marnus Schoeman. Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, meanwhile, made only one change to his team that were crowned the Currie Cup First Division champions last week, with tighthead prop Ivann Espag replacing De-Jay Terblanche, who in turn drops to the bench.

The visitors are expected to rely heavily on flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout to dictate play and keep the scoreboard rolling with his pin-point goal kicking, while exciting backs Rosco Speckman, Coenie van Wyk and JW Bell could be some of their key attacking weapons.

Match Officials
Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Johan Greeff


Griquas: Gouws Prinsloo; Willie le Roux, Jean Stemmet, Howard Mnisi, Rocco Jansen; Francois Brummer, Marnus Hugo; Burger Schoeman, RJ Liebenberg, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Ligtoring Landman, Lourens Adriaanse, Ryno Barnes (capt), Steph Roberts.

Replacements: Matthew Dobson, Janro van Niekerk, Patrick O'Brien, Carel Greeff, Jacques Coetzee, JP Nel, Nico Scheepers.

Pumas: Coenie van Wyk; JW Bell, Wilmaure Louw, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosco Speckman; Carl Bezuidenhout, Faf de Klerk; RW Kember, Renaldo Bothma, Corné Steenkamp (capt); Eduan van der Walt, Rudi Mathee; Ivann Espag, Frank Herne, Corné Fourie.

Replacements: Swys du Toit, Vincent Koch, De-Jay Terblanche, Giant Mtyanda, Uzair Cassiem, JC Roos, Dewald Pretorius.

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Currie Cup Table

Currie Cup table (Premier Division)              Currie Cup Table
1. 10 8 0 2 245 201 44 1 37
2. 10 7 3 0 271 223 48 5 33
3. 10 5 5 0 262 238 24 6 26
4. 10 4 5 1 326 296 30 8 26
5. 10 3 6 1 225 235 -28 3 17
6. 10 1 9 0 208 326 -118 7 11

(Updated each Monday to check with officials)