After a superb showing in their opening SuperSport Rugby Challenge match against the Vodacom Blue Bulls, all eyes will be on the Steval Pumas to notch up another win, this time against the Xerox Golden Lions.
The Mpumalanga side will have the home ground advantage this time, hosting the Xerox Golden Lions at Kanyamazane Stadium on Saturday. Steval Pumas fans were delighted when the side ran out 31-23 victory against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in this past weekend’s encounter at Loftus Versfeld.
Even though victory is currently tasting sweet, Steval Pumas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg said that the team will this week be expected to put in extra effort to counter the Xerox Golden Lions’ exciting ball-in-hand approach.
“As always, the Lions are going to be a team that breathes a lot of life into the game and keeping the opposition busy. They’ve got a ball-in-hand approach, players with really high skills sets, very good decision-making and good offloading skills. Defensively we’ve got our work cut out for us this week,” said Janse van Rensburg.
This week’s match will be a case of the Steval Pumas arriving on the day and being fully prepared to outwork their opponents. Janse van Rensburg describes this as “a game of work ethic.”
“We defended a lot in the last match and it’s important for us to get a bit more balance this week. We have to focus on holding onto the ball when we attack. We had seven knock-ons in the last game, lost a ball in the breakdown and passed the ball into touch three times. So, we need to make sure that when we have the ball we look after it more,” said Janse van Rensburg.
Another key focus area for this week will be creating a stable platform from the scrum and ensuring that players get more width in defence.
“We need to contain them defensively and we really need to have good width and structure. We must execute our system on defence this week effectively so that we don’t have to overwork in trying to contain them,” said Janse van Rensburg.
The only change to the squad this week is the inclusion of Ryan Nell, who will be replacing Deon Helberg in the number 21 jersey.
The match against the Xerox Golden Lions kicks off at 15h00. Keep an eye on the Steval Pumas Facebook page Twitter feed for live score updates from the game.