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Stonehouse calls for Pumas to up the physicality

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse says that they are expecting a huge physical onslaught from Griquas when the two face off in the third round of the Currie Cup competition Mbombela Stadium, in Nelspruit, on Friday

The Pumas beat the Free State Cheetahs in round one for their maiden win thus far, while the Kimberley outfit is yet to record a victory in this year’s domestic competition.

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Although the hosts are above Griquas on the overall points log, Stonehouse believes it will mean little on the day.

“We both are teams that like to be very physical in our approach to the game. It is something that both we and Griquas use as a platform to get our game-plan going,” Stonehouse said.

“Griquas have included a couple of guys like Ruan Lerm and Jonathan Adendorf to enhance their physical presence and we will be mindful of that.”

Griquas have struggled to beat the Pumas in Nelspruit in the past, but beat the hosts in the semifinal of the Vodacom Cup competition earlier this year.

Home advantage will be key for the Pumas, while Stonehouse believes good discipline will also play a major role in the winning team’s success.

“We have one bonus point more than Griquas do, but that isn’t enough. We need to win this game because this competition is still wide open and any team can still make it to the knockout stages.

“We will use our home ground to our advantage. In any competition you don’t want to be the team that travels, but in the end I believe it is going to come down to whoever concedes the least amount of penalties on the day.”

Griquas coach Hawies Fourie earlier underlined that a physical approach would be key for the visitors, but added that his side had to execute their game-plan better than in previous weeks.

Griquas produced a lacklustre performance against the Cheetahs last weekend after they played the full 80 minutes with 14 men the week before against the Sharks.

“We were very disappointed with the way we played against the Cheetahs, specially after we showed so much character the week before against the Sharks,” Fourie said.

“We know that the Pumas pose a huge threat, but the main thing for us will be not to focus on individuals but rather on executing our own game-plan.”

The Griquas coach admitted that travelling to Nelspruit was not a concern, as they had done so earlier this year before winning the Vodacom Cup.

“We know how to win in Nelspruit, that doesn’t mean that we are overly confident. Clashes between Griquas and the Pumas are traditionally tough and on the day the result can go either way,” Fourie said.

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