Pumas Waiting For The Stormers In Mbombela

Photo Credit: Gallo Images

The Phakisa Pumas and the DHL Stormers kick off the third round of Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked action at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday. The match starts at 19h00 and is the first encounter at this level between these two sides.

The Stormers are unbeaten after a win (23-17) over the Lions after only one game in the competition against the Emirates Lions last weekend.

The Pumas lost their first game of the competition against a rampant Cheetahs (31-53) team in Bloemfontein two weeks ago but their win against the Griquas (29-21) made everybody sit and take notice of the Nelspruit based team.

The Stormers will run out as the overwhelming favourites well knowing that the Pumas is a real threat, especially at home.

AJ le Roux is set to make his debut for the Phakisa Pumas after he was named at hooker in the Lowvelders’ starting line-up for their clash against the DHL Stormers in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

Le Roux, formerly of Tafel Lager Griquas, replaces Simon Westraadt in the No 2 jersey in the only change to the starting line-up that downed the Peacock Blues last weekend in Kimberley.

Meanwhile, there are three changes to the DHL Stormers starting line-up for their visit to the Lowveld.

Edwill van der Merwe (wing) starts out wide in place of the injured Sergeal Petersen, while up front Chris van Zyl (lock) gets a start in a rotational switch and Leon Lyons (loosehead prop) will earn his first DHL Stormers cap.

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson said that the trip to Nelspruit will be a good chance for his team to show what they learned from their opening match.

“We would like to see growth and improvement in certain areas of our game and an away game in Nelspruit will be a good test of that,” said Dobson.

Phakisa Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 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 AJ le Roux, 1 Morgan Naude. Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ignatius Prinsloo.

DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Leon Lyons. Replacements (from): 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Michal Haznar, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Tristan Leyds.