Vodacom WP expects tough one
Accuracy is the key to a win for Vodacom Western Province when they take on the Pumas in an Absa Currie Cup match at Nelspruit on Friday evening.
Accuracy is the key to a win for Vodacom Western Province when they take on the Pumas in an Absa Currie Cup match at Nelspruit on Friday evening.

That is the view of WP coach Allister Coetzee, who this week spoke with a healthy dose of respect about the home side. "For me our plan is always to get that balance between kicking and running and it's still the same.

"We'll definitely make use of our kicking game to play in the right areas once again. The Pumas have improved a lot since the last game. They've had close losses against the Free State Cheetahs, Blue Bulls and Lions, so we're well aware of the challenge and we'll have to make sure that in all departments we're accurate."

The coach said the change of venue - from Witbank to Nelspruit - makes for an interesting prospect. "We're a bit nervous playing at Witbank. That's a field that is much more intimidating than the new one.

"People are very close to the field and you see those blue lines and a grey field, so for us it's going to be really nice to go play at the new stadium."

He expects the Pumas to hit them with everything but the kitchen sink on Friday. The Pumas will be desperate to finally scalp one of the big unions after coming close against the Cheetahs, Bulls and Lions.

"They've got a mindset of everything to gain and nothing to lose in their first year in this competition and they've got a solid pack of forwards which makes them competitive at set piece time.

"And they've worked hard. They're a well-coached team. Jimmy Stonehouse has done a helluva job.

"They also have a philosophy of trying to score as many tries as they can. He says that their aim is to go and score four tries every game, and they play with a bit of confidence.

"They have a lot of confidence in what they're doing. Hardened players like Ronnie Uys have been around for a few years.

"They're competitive and they try and intimidate you with their physicality, and they're quite fit side for a big pack. They tend to play well in the second half and come out firing after changing their jerseys.

"They've got a good thing going in terms of the tightness in the team."

Coetzee's team would be looking to build on their performance against the Leopards last week and gain momentum in the run-in to the play-offs and also .

Vodacom WP will be looking to bag the full haul of log points on offer as they attempt to reel in the first placed Sharks and put some distance between themselves and the third and fourth placed teams.

Teams for Mbombela Stadium:

Vodacom Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (captain), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw. REPLACEMENTS: 16 Hanyani Shimange, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Köster, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Paul Bosch.

Pumas: Johan Jackson, Conrad Marais, Shaun Venter, Ricardo Croy, Alister Kettledas, Elgar Watts, Hendrik van der Nest, Doppies le Roux, Jaco Bouwer, Corné Steenkamp, Eduan van der Walt, Andries Kruger, Ashley Buys, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Ronnie Uys. REPLACEMENTS: Hannes Franklin, Dee-Jay Terblanche, Dawie Steyn, Willem Serfontein, Juan Visser, Ashwin Scott, Vainon Willis.

Kick-off: 19.10.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia).

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