Phakisa Pumas Host Tafel Lager Griquas In The Fight For The Wooden Spoon

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It may be early in the Carling Currie Cup but the pressure on the teams will rise significantly this weekend as the race for favourable log positions intensifies with a little over a month left before the pool stage concludes. The Phakisa Pumas and Tafel Lager Griquas will kick off the round two action tonight in Nelspruit at 19h00 in what could prove to be a gripping contest. 

Tafel Lager Griquas will be looking to build on their impressive track record against the Phakisa Pumas in the Carling Currie Cup when they meet in Nelspruit on tonight. 

The men from Kimberley have won five of the last seven matches between the teams since 2014 – with two of those victories in Nelspruit, which is expected to fuel their determination to work their way off the foot of the table.

With only six points separating the teams on the scoreboard in their Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked clash earlier in the season, it could prove to be a tightly fought affair.

Devon Williams' performance for the Pumas will be vital at flyhalf. His debut at 10 was catastrophic a week ago against the Cell C Sharks.

Phakisa Pumas hooker Marko Janse van Rensburg will celebrate a big career milestone of 50 caps for the Lowvelders on Friday if he takes the field in their Carling Currie Cup clash against Tafel Lager Griquas in Nelspruit.

Coach Jimmy Stonehouse made seven changes to his team – two of which were positional switches – which will see a new-look front row as Dewald Maritz (prop) and Simon Westraadt (hooker) earn starts next to Ruan Kramer.

The lock pairing also differs from last week with Le Roux Roets and regular captain Pieter Jansen van Vuren holding the fort, while the only change in the backline was at right-wing, where Luther Obi takes over from Morne Joubert.

Former Southern Kings loose forward CJ Velleman will earn a first start for Tafel Lager Griquas in the only change to coach Scott Mathie’s starting XV. He replaces the injured Gideon van der Merwe, who was forced to leave the field against the Xerox Lions after taking a blow to the head.

Mathie also made two changes to his extended bench for the trip, with Zandre Jordaan (in for Bandisa Ndlovu) and Ashlon Davids (for Masixole Banda) making the trip to the Lowveld.

Phakisa Pumas: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Devon Williams, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Darrien Landsberg, 6 Phumzile Maqondwana, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Dewald Maritz. Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Ignatius Prinsloo, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Tiaan Botes, 22 Wayne van der Bank, 23 Liam Hendricks.

Tafel Lager Griquas: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli. Replacements (from): 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Carl Els, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Andre Swarts, 23 Enver Brandt, 24 Zandre Jordaan, 25 Ewan Coetzee, 26 Ashlon Davids