Currie Cup: Pumas vs Griquas Preview


The Pumas tackle Griquas on Saturday the 7th of October, Nelspruit. 


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Pumas v Griquas
7 October 14h00
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

The Pumas must be regarded as favourites to overcome a weak Griquas outfit at the Mbombela on Saturday afternoon. The visitors may have recorded a sumptuous victory over the defending champion Cheetahs last time out, but the Pumas have all the tools required to dish out a hiding of their own.

To WIn Match
Pumas 3/10 | Draw 33/1 | Griquas 23/10

Pumas

The pride of Nelspruit have once again performed valiantly in this season’s Currie Cup. Up against the various other financially-stable SA unions, the Pumas are never going to go into a campaign as outright favourites, but their tenacity and dogged mentality has won the hearts of the public time and again. Ask any supporter who their second-favourite side is, and nine-times out of 10 they’ll answer in favour of the “Purple People Eaters”.

Coming off last week’s bye, the Pumas sit in fifth position; just one-point off of semi-final qualification. Indeed, a win this weekend is non-negotiable for Brent Janse van Rensburg’s charges if they want to remain relevant in this year’s competition – especially considering that they must pay the Blue Bulls a visit at Loftus next week.

Ideally, the Pumas would be hoping for a win themselves coupled with a Lions loss (against Western Province) to propel them to fourth-position. With the current structures they have in place, they should realistically be too strong for the Griquas at home on Saturday. And with the form that WP are in of late, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest that the people of Nelspruit may just have a semi-final to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Griquas

You can’t help but feel for Peter Engledow’s men. Having started the season with so much promise, they now find themselves rock-bottom of the standings without much hope of avoiding the Wooden Spoon. The men from Kimberly must be looking up to the way the Pumas, the other “minnow” in this year’s edition, and wondering just how they have managed to remain so consistent throughout.

Their performance of the season arguably came last week when they decimated a poor Cheetahs line-up; scoring eight-tries in the process. For all their exploits on attack however, they may have added even more gloss to their 59 – 24 score-line had more of their passes stuck.

The Griquas made a shocking 27-handling errors according to the Rugby Stats app, and this is an aspect upon which the Pumas may look to pounce. Their counter-attacking capabilities are well documented, and they may thrive off of opposition mistakes this weekend.

Verdict: Pumas 3/10
Not much more to be said. The Pumas are still in a hunt for qualification, and that desire to win may enable them to put out a big score in what will be the final game they play in front of their home fans in 2017.

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Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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