Herne hat-trick gives Steval Pumas victory over Kings – 30th September 2016

Man of the Match Frank Herne of Pumas during the Currie Cup Premier Division match between the Eastern Province Kings and The Pumas held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on the 30th September 2016
Photo by: Richard Huggard / Real Time Images

Try scorer Frank Herne of Pumas during the Currie Cup Premier Division match between the Eastern Province Kings and The Pumas held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on the 30th September 2016
Photo by: Richard Huggard / Real Time Images

Herne hat-trick gives Steval Pumas victory over Kings

A remarkable hat-trick from hooker Frankie Herne secured the Steval Pumas a 38-30 win over the EP Kings in a scintillating clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening, as the Nelspruiters ended their Currie Cup Premier Division campaign with a much-needed victory under the belt.   

EP Kings fly half Peter-Steyn de Wet took the home side to a 6-0 lead early on. Steval Pumas flank Brian Shabangu went over for the first try of the match shortly thereafter, with the missed conversion attempt from Heinrich Steyl leaving the score at 6-5.

The Kings hit back with a converted try through fullback Johan Tromp, but Steval Pumas hooker Frankie Herne continued his excellent try-scoring record this season by crossing the whitewash a few minutes later, with Steyl adding the two. The Kings extended the one-point lead through a converted Brandon Brown try, but the visitors surged back again through Herne, who crashed over for his second, with Steyl’s successful kick bringing the halftime score to 20-19.

Kings scrumhalf and captain Ricky Schroeder darted over for a converted try shortly into the second half, but the ding-dong battle continued when Steval Pumas scrumhalf Kevin Luiters replied with a try of his own. Steyl’s missed conversion saw the visitors trailing 27-24, with a tense 20 minutes remaining.

The accurate De Wet slotted his third penalty to secure a six-point lead, but man of the match Herne wasn’t done yet as he went over for a remarkable hat-trick from the front row, and Devon Williams made the conversion to give the visitors a nail-biting 30-31 lead. JP Lewis wrapped things up for the Steval Pumas with a converted try in the dying minutes, with the game ending 30-38.

“We made a few too many errors again to give away easy points, but I think the guys managed to keep their composure and keep fighting back. We had the advantage in the forwards so we used the mauls to our advantage, and as usual Frankie took the lead in that aspect. It was a nail-biting match but we’re extremely relieved to get the win we’ve worked so hard for all season,” said Mentz.

The bonus point win sees the Steval Pumas move to seventh on the log, ahead of the Boland Cavaliers and the EP Kings.  


EP Kings: Tries: Johan Tromp, Brandon Brown, Ricky Schroeder

Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3)

Penalties: De Wet (3)

Pumas: Tries: Brian Shabangu (unconverted), Frankie Herne (3), Kevin Luiters, JP Lewis 

Conversions: Heinrich Steyl (2), Devon Williams (2)



  • A remarkable hat-trick from hooker Frankie Herne secured the Steval Pumas a 38-30 win over the EP Kings in a scintillating clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening
  • Frankie Hernes remarkable performance earns him man of the match in a great end to a tough Pumas season.


Photos: Richard Huggard, RealTime Images


Steval Pumas officially sign Janse van Rensburg as head coach – 12th October 2016

Steval Pumas officially sign Janse van Rensburg as head coach


Mpumalanga Rugby PTY LTD is delighted to announce the official appointment of Brent Janse van Rensburg as the head coach of the Steval Pumas, effective from the start of the 2017 rugby season.

After extensive consultation, Janse van Rensburg, who is one of the 2016 nominees for the South African Rugby Union (SARU) Coach of the Year, signed a three-year contract with the Steval Pumas this week. MJ Mentz and Hein Kriek will stay on as assistant coaches to offer their valuable experience and support to Janse van Rensburg.

“We are very excited at the appointment of Janse van Rensburg, who has already proven himself as an excellent head coach at the Boland Cavaliers and in previous positions. He is an experienced and high-quality coach and we are fully confident that, with the assistance of the existing coaching staff, he will add immense value to the provincial side,” said Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger.

Burger added that it is important to invest in the game at provincial level.

Janse van Rensburg started his coaching career at the South African Institute of Rugby. He was subsequently professional coach at Queen’s College, before guiding the Border Craven Week team to eight wins out of nine matches in charge and becoming involved with the Border Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup teams. He has been a successful head coach for Varsity Cup side NMMU Madibaz and the assistant coach for the South African Universities Team.  In 2014, he was appointed as Director of Rugby at the prestigious Grey High School, and then moved to Johannesburg for a brief stint as the Golden Lions high performance coach. In June 2015, he was appointed as head coach for the EP Kings. Janse van Rensburg gained high acclaim for guiding the Boland Cavaliers to the Currie Cup Premier Division as head coach in 2016.

Janse van Rensburg will relocate to Nelspruit with his wife Liesel at the end of this year.

“I’m very excited and extremely thankful for the opportunity to join what is a great union. The Steval Pumas have had good success in the past, and are very competitive, whilst the structures and facilities at the Union are first-class. I look forward to the head coach challenge and working to move the side forward,” Janse van Rensburg said. 


Photo: 1) Pieter Burger CEO Mpumalanga Rugby PTY LTD announces Janse van Rensburg as new Head Coach to Steval Pumas

Photo by: Hennie Homann

Mbombela Stadium all set for SARU Inter Provincial Sevens – 14th October 2016

Mbombela Stadium all set for SARU Inter Provincial Sevens

Mbombela Stadium is set to host what is guaranteed to be a highly entertaining weekend of rugby, as South Africa’s best sevens teams converge again on Nelspruit for the SARU Inter Provincial Sevens Tournament on 21 and 22 October. 

The jam-packed program will see 16 men’s teams and 17 women’s teams from all nine provinces battling it out for their respective titles as top sevens outfit in the country. The teams will be split into four pools in each category, with SARU approving the introduction of a Bowl, Shield, Plate and Cup Final to ensure that more sides are active on both days of the event.    

This is the second year in a row that SARU has selected Mpumalanga Rugby to hold the tournament, with the help of sponsors including SAB, Ingwenyama Conference and Sport Resort, H2O, Heidel Eggs, Eskort and Ruggedwear. As the host union, the Steval Pumas will have three teams competing, namely the Lowveld Pumas, Highveld Pumas and Pumas Women.

The action gets underway on Friday at 10:00, with the main stadium field and the practice fields both hosting matches until 19:00. Saturday will have an action-packed schedule starting at 08:00 and ending with the Men’s Cup Final at 16:20.

Visitors have free entrance to this feast of rugby. To create the festival atmosphere associated with the exciting sevens format, Mpumalanga Rugby will also have a Castle Beer Garden between the two fields of play with music, plus food and drinks for sale. Spectators can stick around for the Currie Cup final directly after the tournament, which will be aired on a big screen.

Competing teams will be well-looked after throughout the weekend, having access to dedicated team areas and a players’ and officials’ area within the Puma’s Restaurant, where hot lunches and fruit tables will be available. Accommodation has been booked for all the teams at either Ingwenyama, Bundu Lodge or Stay Easy for three nights from Thursday to Sunday.

“We are extremely excited to once again host this fantastic tournament. Last year’s event was very successful and we expect that this year will be even better. We look forward to a weekend of exciting, competitive rugby and satisfied spectators,” said Roelof Kotze, Amateur Rugby Manager at Mpumalanga Rugby. 

Steval Pumas start new dawn with Janse van Rensburg – 2nd November 2016

Steval Pumas start new dawn with Janse van Rensburg

Incoming Steval Pumas head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has already started work with the team on the first phase of pre-season training and the development of the rugby programme at the union.

After a brief break for the Steval Pumas after the 2016 season, Janse van Rensburg says that the immediate focus will be on the development of the environment the union wants to create, and ensuring operational efficiency.

“It has been a busy but rewarding few days. We are currently focusing on ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place to allow our rugby programme to function optimally. The medical and conditioning departments are our other focus to ensure that the right steps are taken to produce elite athletes,” said Janse van Rensburg.

Van Rensburg explained that the first phase of pre-season training will be more skills-based than usual, with the further rollout of the coaching programme being implemented in January. He added that he has been incredibly impressed with the infrastructure in place at the Steval Pumas.  

“The administration of the union is exceptional and CEO Pieter Burger has clearly brought his experience from the corporate world. Specialist people have been put in place with a longer-term vision clearly in mind. The facilities are world class and I believe that this union is geared for bigger things to be achieved in future. From a coaching perspective, if we formulate the correct recipe, we can achieve success,” he said.

The squad is likely to be further boosted by the addition of several new players. The union is currently in the process of finalising signings and will communicate these to supporters and the media when everything is confirmed in the coming weeks.

Photo caption: Incoming Steval Pumas head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has started working with the side at Mbombela Stadium.

Steval Pumas ring seven changes for Kings clash – 28th September 2016

Steval Pumas ring seven changes for Kings clash

Steval Pumas coach MJ Mentz has made seven changes to the starting team which ran out against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs last week, as the men from Mpumalanga look to close their Currie Cup campaign on a high note against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.

Fly half Francois Brummer, who has started every game of this season’s Currie Cup, has been ruled out due to an ankle ligament injury. Playing his last match for the Steval Pumas, Heinrich Steyl moves from fullback to take up the reins from the former Super Rugby player. Devon Williams will slot into his familiar berth at number 15.

Hennie Skorbinksi is also unavailable for selection after undergoing finger surgery, giving the 102kg Leighton van Wyk another starting opportunity at inside centre. Tyler Fisher has been picked ahead of Ruwellyn Isbell at right wing, whilst scrumhalf Emile Temperman has recovered from knee ligament damage to replace Kevin Luiters. Isbell and Luiters will provide backline cover from the bench, along with Deon Helberg.

In the forwards, Jeremy Jordaan gets his first start in the Steval Pumas jersey at left lock, in place of Stephan Greeff. Hugo Kloppers has been named as the lock replacement. Lambert Groenewald is out with bronchitis, to be replaced by Carel Greeff at right flank. Khwezi Mona is being rested with an ankle niggle, with De-Jay Terblanche starting at loose head prop.

After a winless Currie Cup thus far, coach Mentz said that his side are determined to cap off the season with a victory against the bottom-of-the-log Kings. 

“We are extremely hungry for a win and the new guys coming this week realise the importance of getting that win. The Kings have played some good rugby in the first half of every game this season and will be just as hungry as us. Obviously it’s never nice to be involved in a bottom-of-the-log clash but there’s still a lot to play for,” Mentz said.

Steyl is leaving the Steval Pumas to pursue his studies in accountancy. Renaldo Bothma, who has captained the team since the early stages of the season, will also wear the pink jersey for the last time as he takes up a full-time contract with the Blue Bulls.  

“It was a great privilege to have both of these talented rugby players on board and we wish them every success for the future. We hope we can send them off with a win,” Mentz commented.

Kick-off on Friday is at 18:00.



Full back




Right wing




Right centre




Left centre




Left wing




Fly half




Scrum half




Number eight




Right flanker




Left flanker




Right lock




Left lock




Tight head prop








Loose head prop

















Utility Forward




Scrum half




Utility back




Utility back




Steval Pumas bring sewe veranderings aan vir Kings-botsing

Steval Pumas se afrigter, MJ Mentz het sewe veranderings aan die beginspan gemaak wat verlede week teen die Toyota Vrystaat Cheetahs uitgehardloop het. Die manne van Mpumalanga hoop om die Curriebeker-veldtog op ‘n hoë noot af te sluit teen die Oostelike Provinsie-Kings in Port Elizabeth Vrydagaand.

Die losskakel Francois Brummer, wat elke wedstryd van dié seisoen se Curriebeker begin het, is uitgesluit weens 'n enkel-ligament besering. Heinrich Steyl, wat sy laaste wedstryd vir die Steval Pumas speel, beweeg vanaf heelagter om die pligte van losskakel oor te neem. Devon Williams sal inskakel in sy gewone plek op nommer 15.

Hennie Skorbinksi is ook nie beskikbaar nie nadat hy chirurgie aan sy vinger ontvang het. Dit gee Leighton van Wyk 'n geleentheid om as binnesenter op die veld te draf. Tyler Fisher is bo Ruwellyn Isbell gekies op regtervleuel, terwyl die skrumskakel Emile Temperman van knieligament skade herstel het om Kevin Luiters te vervang.

Onder die voorspelers kry Jeremy Jordaan sy eerste kans in die Steval Pumas trui as linker slot in die plek van Stephan Greeff. Hugo Kloppers is aangewys as die slot vervanging. Lambert Groenewald sit uit as gevolg van brongitis en word vervang deur Carel Greeff op die regter flank. Khwezi Mona rus na ‘n enkelbesering, en De-Jay Terblanche draf uit as loskopstut.

Na 'n wenlose Curriebeker tot dusver, het afrigter Mentz gesê dat sy span vasbeslote is om die seisoen af te sluit met 'n oorwinning teen die onder-op-die-leer Kings.

"Ons is uitgehonger vir 'n oorwinning en die nuwe ouens wat vandeesweek inkom besef die belangrikheid daarvan om te wen. Die Kings het goeie rugby gespeel het in die eerste helfte van elke wedstryd dié seisoen en sal net so oorgehaal wees vir oorwinning soos ons. Dit is nooit lekker om betrokke te wees in 'n onder-op-die-lys botsing nie, maar selfs in so ‘n geval is daar nog baie om voor te speel," het Mentz gesê.

Steyl groet die Steval Pumas om rekeningkunde te studeer. Renaldo Bothma, wie kaptein van die span was sedert die middel van die rugbyseisoen, sal ook die pienktrui vir die laaste keer dra. Hy sal by die Blou Bulle aansluit op ‘n voltydse basis.

“Dit was ‘n groot voorreg om beide sulke talentvolle rugbyspelers by die Steval Pumas te hê en ons wens hul alle sukses toe met hul toekomende loopbane. Ons hoop om hul af te sien met ‘n oorwinning oor die Kings,” het Mentz gesê.

Die wedstryd skop af op Vrydag om 18:00.



  • Renaldo Bothma makes his last appearance in the Pumas jersey this Friday in PE. Next year he joins The Vodacom Blue Bulls
  • Heinrich Steyl makes his last appearance in the Pumas jersey this weekend as he pursues his studies and a career in accountancy


Photo: Photo – Andre Meintjes

Schoeman leaves on loan to Stormers

Marnus Schoeman. Photo Andre MeintjesThe Steval Pumas would like to announce the temporary departure of Marnus Schoeman, as the talented loose forward decides to take an opportunity to play Super Rugby for the Stormers on a loan agreement.

Schoeman (28) has been an integral part of the Steval Pumas squad since his debut at the start of the 2015 season, having scored 16 tries in 29 appearances for the Mpumalanga side. The flanker was unlucky to have missed selection in 2016 due to injury concerns. He is still contracted with the Steval Pumas and is scheduled to make his return on 1 June after his loan spell with the Stormers.

“We will obviously miss Marnus as he is an exceptional player who has been of great value to our side. The union invested heavily in his rugby development and he continues to play an integral part of our plans for the future: we look forward to welcoming him back into the squad,” said Mpumalanga Rugby CEO Pieter Burger.

“For now, however, we want to wish him every success for this opportunity to play for the Stormers. We are excited to see the contribution he can make on the Super Rugby stage,” said Burger.

The move again illustrates that the Steval Pumas are a franchise producing a steady stream of world-class players with the potential to perform on the biggest stage.

“These type of things aren’t just a stroke of luck. We are consistently producing quality players and hope to soon be seen as equal partners on the franchise level,” Burger said.

Schoeman, who has already moved down to Cape Town to join the Stormers in time for a once-off warm-up game against the South Western District Eagles this weekend, said that he is eager to prove himself.

“Obviously, it is every player’s dream to play for the Springboks, and Super Rugby is the stepping stone to this. I really want to make the best of the opportunity during the prime of my career,” said Schoeman.

Schoeman confirmed that he is still committed to the Steval Pumas.

“My time with the Pumas has been fantastic and I don’t see returning as a step back for me at all. The new coach Brent Janse van Rensburg is installing a whole new plan and culture, which I really look forward to being a part of,” he said.

Sevens teams vie for title of provincial champions

Nelspruit Rugby Club 1st team and Rooikatte Lydenburg Rugby Club 1st team following the final of the Lowveld 7’s tournament on Sat 11th Feb 2017 in Barberton. Photo: Nelspruit Rugby Club FB pageThe rugby season is starting to gain momentum across South Africa, and the Mpumalanga Rugby Union (MRU) will kick things off with the Provincial Sevens Championship at the Nelspruit Rugby Club this Saturday.

After the regional tournaments last weekend, this weekend’s event will see the top four teams in the Lowveld battling it out with the top four Highveld teams for the title of provincial sevens champions.

The Lowveld teams include Nelspruit 1, Nelspruit 2, Barberton Rugby Club and Rooikatte from Lydenburg, who will come up against Sasol 1, Sasol 2, Middelburg Rugby Club and Standerton Rugby Club from the Highveld.

The day gets underway with a clash between Nelspruit 1 and Sasol 2 at 10:00. There will be Shield, Bowl and Plate brackets, before the Cup Final takes place at 14:20.

Roelof Kotze, Amateur Rugby Manager for the MRU, said the event gives players an early-season opportunity to prove themselves.

“The event also allows provincial coaches to develop their plans for the year. It’s also a good lead up into the fifteens season. We are looking forward to Saturday and encourage members of the public to come and enjoy some exciting rugby action,” said Kotze.

Entry for the day is R10, with food and drink on sale at the club.

Sewes spanne ding mee om provinsiale kampioene titel

Die rugbyseisoen is besig om momentum te bereik regoor Suid-Afrika, en die Mpumalanga-rugbyunie (MRU) sal die seisoen afskop met die Provinsiale Sewes Kampioenskappe wat op Saterdag by die Nelspruit-rugbyklub gehou gaan word.

Na afloop van die plaaslike toernooie verlede naweek, sal die naweek se geleentheid die top vier spanne in die Laeveld sien meeding teen die top vier Hoëveld spanne om die titel van provinsiale sewes-kampioene in te palm.

Die Laeveld spanne sluit in Nelspruit 1, Nelspruit 2, Barbeton Rugbyklub en die Rooikatte van Lydenburg, wat teen Sasol 1, Sasol 2, Middelburg Rugbyklub en Standerton Rugbyklub van die Hoëveld te staan sal kom.

Die dag sal afskop met ‘n botsing tussen Nelspruit 1 en Sasol 2 om 10:00. Daar sal Shield, Bowl en Plate brackets wees, voor die eindstryd om 14:20 plaasvind.

Amateur Rugby Bestuurder vir die MRU, Roelof Kotze, het gesê die dag gee spelers ‘n vroeë-seisoen geleentheid om hulself te bewys.

“Die geleentheid laat ook provinsiale afrigters toe om hul planne vir die jaar te ontwikkel. Dit is ook ‘n goeie aanloop tot die vyftiens-seisoen. Ons uit na Saterdag en ons moedig lede van die publiek aan om te kom kyk en opwindende rugby aksie geniet,” het Kotzé gesê.

Toegang vir die dag is R10, met kos en drank wat te koop sal wees by die klub.

Steval Pumas delighted by inclusion in new Currie Cup

Photo: Great excitement in the Steval Pumas camp with the inclusion of the team in the Premier Currie Cup Division 2017. Brent Janse Van Rensburg (Head Coach), Pieter Burger (CEO), Marius Van Rensburg (Operational Manager)The Steval Pumas have cemented their reputation as one of the top rugby franchises in South Africa, with their inclusion in the new Currie Cup Premier Division format announced by SA Rugby last Friday.

The Currie Cup is returning to a more intense, strength-versus-strength format this year following a decision of the SA Rugby Special General Council in Friday. The Premier Division is contracting from nine to seven teams, including the top six sides from last season, and the Steval Pumas, who had the best record of the remaining teams over the past five years.

Mpumalanga Rugby Union CEO Pieter Burger said that the team is humbled by the opportunity to once again participate in one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby competitions in the world.

“There’s been a huge amount of improvement over the past several years and we are grateful to have received recognition for that. We’ve never wanted to be seen as a team that’s just kept in a competition for good graces, that’s never part of our dreams and aspirations. We want to consistently drive ourselves to be better, beat some of the bigger franchises and continually grow,” said Burger.

Burger added that the much-anticipated decision was healthy for the psychology of players, staff, supporters and sponsors.

“There has been some uncertainty about whether we would be in the Premier Division so this decision is extremely important from a playing, coaching and commercial perspective. A lot of players are attracted to the Pumas because we’ve become known as a very good union which advances careers. This decision therefore continues that attraction,” Burger said.

The Currie Cup Premier Division will kick off on 12 August. First up for the Steval Pumas is the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, a revamped version of the Vodacom Cup incorporating the north, south and central divisions. The exciting new format will include televised Sunday rugby festivals at community stadiums and clubs, as well as triple headers and regional championships. Before the competition kicks off at the end of April, the Steval Pumas will prepare with warm-up matches against the Lions, Western Province and the Sharks.

Rugby Legends light up Malelane Rugby Weekend

Morne Kruger and Dewald Pretorious in Malelane playing for the Pumas Legends
Photo: Rhetha Nel

Thousands of rugby supporters enjoyed a fun-filled, competitive two days of rugby at the Malelane Rugby Weekend, with the Jimmy Stonehouse-coached Pumas Legends beating Ian Macintosh’s South African Legends side 28-7 during the showpiece encounter on Saturday afternoon.

To kick off the 50th anniversary of Malelane Rugby Club, around 500 spectators turned up at the rugby club on Friday afternoon for the first round of matches between school and club sides. Lowveld High, Malelane Ou-Olifante, the Middelburg XV and the Malelane XV were all victors in a set of closely-fought encounters.

Saturday’s action-programme attracted more than 2000 supporters, as clubs from across Mpumalanga battled it out before the big match between the two Legends sides. The match was the first time the SA Legends side played in their new J9 jerseys in honour of Joost van der Westerhuizen. A minute’s silence was observed before the start of play for the late Springbok hero.

Despite stiff competition in the SA Legends team from Wim Visser, John Mametsa, Kennedy Tsimba and Werner Cronje, the Pumas Legends came out tops with four converted tries against the SA Legends’ one. The crowd gave their whole-hearted support to former Pumas stars such as MJ Mentz, Cor

ne Steenkamp, Jaco Bouwer and Doppies le Roux.

“The match was played in very good spirit and it was amazing to see the support on the day. We would like to give a big thank you to SA Legends, Mpumalanga Rugby, the Malelane Rugby Club and all the sponsors for making such a unique event for the province possible,” said coach Stonehouse, who is on holiday in the Lowveld before he returns to Japan to coach Toshiba Brave Lupus.

The Malelane Rugby Club and the SA Legends also voiced their appreciation for the event’s sponsors and the various teams and supporters who made the weekend a success.


Malelane Rugby Weekend - Match Results

24 February

Uplands College (17) vs Lowveld High (19)

Malelane Ou-Olifante (26) vs Leeulopers (12)

Komatipoort (3) vs Middelburg XV (10)

Malelane XV (15) vs Lowveld Rhinos (10)

25 February

Barberton II (45) vs Ngodwana (19)

Pumbas I (26) vs Nelspruit II (5)

Ratels I (19) vs Witrivier II (10)

Barberton 1 (12) vs Middelburg XV (45)

Nelspruit I (12) vs Raiders XV (17)

Lydenburg I (12) vs Standerton I (19)

SA Legends (7) vs Pumas Legends (28)

Witrivier I (0) vs Raiders I (17)

Malelane I (5) vs Pongola I (15)

Belfast I (7) vs Carolina I (15)