Bothma fractured his cheekbone in three places against the Bulls last weekend and underwent surgery last week. He will thus be unavailable for the remainder of the Currie Cup campaign.
Because of this injury and the injury to flanker Jaco Bouwer the Pumas starting line-up contains two changes for the match. Brian Shabangu comes in for Bouwer and RW Kember has been tasked with filling the considerable gap left by Bothma.
The men from Nelspruit will be desperate to find their early season form as they put in a last ditch effort to reach the semifinals. Despite the loss of Bothma and Bouwer, the Pumas have still been able to field a formidable side to face the Kings.
Coach Jimmy Stonehouse conceded that they will be going flat out for the full house of points on offer and a massive score difference – as they need the points and Griquas need to beat the Bulls if they are to reach the play-offs.
“We have to get the five points and close the points difference gap on the Cheetahs.”
Stonehouse also believes that the Kings will see the Pumas as ripe for a plucking, as the Pumas have not been at their best in recent weeks, but he fired off an ominous salvo to the Kings.
“I know the guys will be up for the challenge and make this one count for us. We also want to end on a high.”
Management will no doubt be looking to the back division to garner the bonus point and shrink the points difference. The likes of Coenie van Wyk, JW Jonker and Rosko Specman should be rampant if given quality ball.
Pumas team: Corne Fourie, Frank Herne, Vincent Koch, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Marius Coetzer, Corne Steenkamp (captain), Brian Shabangu, RW Kember, Reynier van Rooyen, Justin van Staden, Rosko Specman, Stefan Watermeyer, JW Jonker, JW Bell, Coenie van Wyk.
Replacements: Francois du Toit, DeJay Terblanche, Frikkie Spies, Uzair Cassiem, Dylon Frylinck, JC Roos, Jerome Pretorius.