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Pumas make one Currie Cup change for Blue Bulls

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Pumas’ flyhalf Justin van Staden will receive a starting berth in the only change to the run-on side for their Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls in Nelspruit on Friday.

Van Staden will replace JC Roos, who drops out of the side altogether, with Coenie van Wyk taking up a spot on the bench.

The Pumas hold a one-point lead over the Bulls on the Currie Cup log and a defeat for either side could mean an end to their hopes of reaching the play-offs.

The Mpumalanga side recently hit a bad patch with three consecutive defeats, including a 37-23 loss to Western Province in Nelspruit over the weekend.

Pumas’ mentor Jimmy Stonehouse nevertheless believes his charges have the ability to beat the Bulls who are fresh from a confidence-boosting 31-22 victory over the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

“We’ve shown that we can compete against any team. Looking at last week we played catch-up rugby again, which was not necessary, and we could have won that one,” Stonehouse said.

“We just have to be accurate from the start and not allow them to get in front of us.

“If we can manage to do that, win our lineouts and scrums and put the points on the board, we can win this one.”

Pumas’ assistant coach MJ Mentz said they were looking for an 80-minute performance from the players as they have been slow out of the blocks in the last few matches.

“We must hit the ground running and minimise our mistakes, which affected us in the first 10 to 20 minutes of the previous two matches, and they capitalised on it,” Mentz said.

“In the latter parts of the games, we stepped up the tempo of the game and we scored the points.”

Pumas

JW Bell, Ruwellyn Isbell, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Specman, Justin van Staden, Reynier van Rooyen, Renaldo Bothma, Jaco Bouwer, Corne Steenkamp (captain), Giant Mtyanda, Marius Coetzer, Vincent Koch, Frankie Herne, Corne Fourie.

Replacements: Francois du Toit, DeJay Terblanche, Uzair Cassiem, RW Kember, Dylon Frylinck, Coenie van Wyk, Jerome Pretorius.

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