A Settled Griquas Await The Pumas In Kimberley


Tafel Lager Griquas will host the Phakisa Pumas later today @16h30 in Kimberley in Round two of the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked Series.

Many see this match as the fight for the wooden spoon, however, as the Griquas showed against the Bulls last weekend in their 23-30 loss, any team is able to upset the top dogs.

Tafel Lager Griquas made a good impression last weekend against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, where they led on the scoreboard for just over an hour before the home side managed to wrestle control of the match.

Tafel Lager Griquas defended with determination and made good use of their scoring opportunities, however, they will have to cut down on their high penalty count which ultimately left the door open for the Vodacom Bulls to clinch the opening-round fixture through a couple of Morne Steyn penalty goals.

The Pumas trailed 41-3 at halftime against the Cheetahs last weekend but came back to "win" the second half with 21-12. The Cheetahs won 53-24 but the Pumas showed given half a chance they are able to upset.

 Tafel Lager Griquas will field an unchanged starting fifteen today. There are however two changes on the bench for the Peacock Blues’ first home fixture of the new local competition, both of them amongst the forwards.

Andrew Beerwinkel, the former Vodacom Bulls, Phakisa Pumas and Junior Springbok prop, comes into the matchday squad in place of Bandisa Ndlovu, while utility forward Ewan Coetzee was also drafted into the replacements in a swap with Johan Momsen.

Whitehead and halfback partner Zak Burger will also be looking to continue with their good performances. They acquitted themselves very well last weekend in Pretoria against the vastly experienced trio of Steyn (flyhalf), Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier (scrumhalves), all of them Springboks.

Meanwhile, Phakisa Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has made a bunch of changes to his side, as they will have to make do without two key players who are injured, Ryan Nell and Le Roux Roets. 

The only players who will start again this week are Devon Williams (fullback), Wayne van der Bank (centre), Neil Maritz (left wing), Eddie Fouche (flyhalf), Ginter Smuts (scrumhalf), Willie Engelbrecht (flank), Ruan Kramer and Morgan Naude (both props).

With Nell out of action – probably for the rest of the season after he injured his knee early last weekend against the Toyota Cheetahs – Pieter Janse van Vuren (lock) will lead the Lowvelders this weekend, ironically against a team he captained earlier in his career.

Janse van Vuren wasn’t available last weekend and takes over from Cameron Lindsay, while Darrien Landsburg has been selected in Roets’ place.

Another experienced player who played for Tafel Lager Griquas earlier in his career is Simon Westraadt, who has been promoted from the bench and will start at hooker.

Jeandré Rudolph, back in Nelspruit after his stint with the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, will start at No 8, with Engelbrecht moving to the side of the scrum where he will be joined by Francois Kleinhans.

Nell’s injured also necessitated a few changes to the backline, with Van der Bank moving to inside centre and Erich Cronje starting in the No 13 jersey for his debut after joining the Phakisa Pumas from the Southern Kings recently. Etienne Taljaard takes over from Luther Obi at right-wing.

 Tafel Lager Griquas: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 André Swarts, 11 James Verity-Amm, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Carl Els, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli. Replacements (from): Alandre van Rooyen, Andrew Beerwinkel, Madot Mabokela, Adre Smith, Zandre Jordaan, Gideon van der Merwe, Ashon Davids, Berton Klaasen, Mzwanele Zito, Ewan Coetzee, Bjorn Basson.

 Phakisa Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Etienne Taljaard, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude. Replacements: 16 HP van Schoor, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Dewald Maritz.