Pumas’ Stonehouse to SA Rugby: ‘Just give us an opportunity,’

The men from Mbombela will play in a second straight Currie Cup final.

Jimmy Stonehouse says the Pumas deserve better than another seven-month pre-season after progressing to a second consecutive Currie Cup final.

The Pumas stunned the Sharks in the second semi-final in Durban to set up a final against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend.

It will be the second time in a row that the Pumas have played in the Currie Cup final, after they secured their very first title by beating Griquas in Kimberley last year.

‘Give us an opportunity’

Stonehouse said that the Currie Cup minnows have made a statement that they deserve another tournament to play in.

“It’s tough for the guys sometimes at the Pumas, and what we’re doing here is to say to SA Rugby: ‘Just give us an opportunity,’” said Stonehouse.

“We cannot play in the URC (United Rugby Championship) or those competitions because we don’t have the money, but just give us something — another competition — so that we don’t have another seven months of pre-season and so that we can get another sponsor to invest in us.

“That’s what we’re trying to create.”

Stonehouse hailed the Pumas’ fight in Durban and said his side has the belief to win in a final away from home.

‘Good brand of rugby’

“It’s just the rugby followers that don’t give us a chance because we’re a small union. But week in and week out we pitch up and play a good brand of rugby.

“It’s about showing out there that we belong somewhere. I practice and preach this with the players and I tell them that if the Pumas win, they will go somewhere. If they have a belief that they’re brilliant and want to play selfishly, they will go nowhere.

“I think that’s the greatest thing. At the end of this season, Tinus de Beer is going to Wales, Ali Mgijima is going to the Cheetahs, and Diego Appollis to the Sharks. Everybody is going, just like last year.”

This story first appeared on sarugbymag.co.za. It is republished here with permission. For the original story click here.

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