Toyota Cheetahs stalwart WP Nel is one of three players playing their last home game. Photo by Morgan Piek /Rugby15.
Morgan Piek – This weekend sees the Toyota Cheetahs face one of their toughest battles of the season. Considering the men from Bloemfontein were taught a rugby lesson of note by the Vodacom Bulls last weekend at Loftus, the task at hand this coming weekend will be so much harder.
The Toyota Cheetahs in affect do not have much to play for in their two remaining fixtures this season, apart from pride. As for their opponents, the DHL Stormers the story is a lot different. The Stormers need to wrap up their two remaining games in a convincing fashion in order to secure the top spot on the combined log. Should the Crusaders beat the log leaders the Chiefs on Friday, the Cape Town based side may very well top the log and secure a home semi final and even a possible home final.
Last year this time the Cheetahs faced the very same opponents in Bloemfontein, despite losing the game, they became the only team in 2011 to score four tries against the Stormers. Earlier this season the Cheetahs narrowly lost to 16-14 to the Stormers in Cape Town. The Free Staters have been somewhat of a bogey side for the Capetonians, especially when there is a lot up for grabs for the Stormers.
This weekend sees three Cheetahs playing their very last home games in Cheetahs jerseys and that may be a little bit of an incentive for them to perform at their very best. The three players are WP Nel, Izak van der Westhuizen and Ashley Johnson.
After coming off the bench and scoring two much needed tries WP Nel finds himself back in the starting fifteen, with Marcel van der Merwe moving to the bench. This could be seen to bolster the front row, as the Stormers will be deploying their fiery loosehead Steven Kitshoff. WP Nel is much more experienced than Marcel “Hulk” van der Merwe and should be able to counter the brilliant 20 year old Paul Roos old boy.
Barry Geel comes in for Andries Strauss who drops out of the match day 22 entirely, partly to rest him and because he did not have such a good game against the Bulls. Waltie Vermeulen will be on the bench in the place of Andries Ferreira who is suffering with a slight niggle. A final decision on Ferreira will be made on Friday.
The Toyota Cheetahs will be donning special jerseys on Saturday, as their main sponsor Toyota will be launching a new vehicle. In dedication to the South African Armed Services, the game will be in their honour.
Saturday’s game is a early kick-off. Kick-off in at 15:00 CAT.
The Toyota Cheetahs team is as follows:
1. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Adriaan Struass (Captain), WP Nel, 4. George Earle, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 8. Justin Downey, 9. Piet van Zyl, 10. Riaan Smit, 11. Cameron Jacobs, 12. Barry Geel, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 14. Nico Scheepers, 15. Willie le Roux.
16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Marcel van der Merwe, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Tewis de Bryan, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Phillip Snyman.
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