Super Sarel starts off the bench for the Toyota Cheetahs this coming weekend. Photo by Morgan Piek /Rugby15.
Morgan Piek – This weekend sees the Toyota Cheetahs get their 2012 ABSA Currie Cup preparations underway when they take on the Cardiff Blues from Wales in the Sir George Grey Cup at Grey College, Bloemfontein. Although this game is a friendly, there will be a lot to play for on Saturday.
This will be the fourth time that the Free Staters taken on Welsh opposition. The Cheetahs can boast with the record of never having lost to a team from the tiny British country. The Free State captain, Adriaan Strauss reiterated that on Saturday they will do everything in their ability not to become the first team to lose to a Welsh side. As a lot of the Cheetahs are Grey College Old Boys it will indeed be a special occasion to play a game in Free State colours at their former Alta Mata and they would like to celebrate Sir George Grey’s 200th birthday in style.
The Cheetahs are expect to do really well against the Northern Hemisphere side this coming weekend, to prove my point I’m quoting an interesting article I read this week:
“The enigma in this competition (Super Rugby) is none other than the Cheetahs, bottom dweller when it comes to the South African derbies. Consider that during the past two years they have not had one single victory over the Sharks, Bulls or Stormers, gaining only 17 log points from their own conference. Yet in 2011 they scalped the Waratahs (qualifiers), Crusaders (qualifiers) and Brumbies, and the in 2012 took the Hurricanes and Waratahs, for a total of 45 log points outside their conference.”
“Teams with a nett positive log point difference outside their conference were: Cheetahs 28, Hurricanes 13, Chiefs 12, Blues 10, Sharks 10 and Crusaders 2.”
Saturdays’ game will also give us a good indication as to the difference in strength between the Super Rugby and the Heineken Cup. Neither side made the play-offs in the respective competitions so come 4 August we can expect a mouth-watering affair from both sides who are renowned for running rugby.
Unlike the Super Rugby, the Cheetahs will be playing with their Currie Cup squad which excludes their Griquas players who have of course returned to Kimberly in preparation for their Currie Cup campaign. Despite missing their Northern Cape team mates, it is a solid Cheetahs side that Naka Drostké selected, apart from a few injuries. The injured players that will not be available for Saturday are Coenie Oosthuizen, Johan Goosen, Boom Prinsloo and Heinrich Brussow.
The Toyota Cheetahs side to take on the Cardiff Blues is as follows:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Phillip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn (Vice Captain), 12. Barry Geel, 11. Cameron Jacobs, 10. Riaan Smit, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8, Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Kabamba Floors, 5. Izak van der Westuizen, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane.
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