Toyota FS Cheetahs shuffle their backline for the Bulls

Aug 15 • General News, National, South Africa • 2593 Views • Comments Off on Toyota FS Cheetahs shuffle their backline for the Bulls

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Sarel Pretorius makes his starting debut for the Toyota FS Cheetahs this weekend against the Blue Bulls. Photo by Morgan Piek /Rugby15.

Morgan Piek – The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have reshuffled their backline for this coming weekends ABSA Currie Cup fixture against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein. Most notable of all is Sias Ebersohn starting at flyhalf, with Riaan Smit moving to the wing, a position he is well acquainted with.

Sarel Pretorius makes his run-on debut for the Toyota FS Cheetahs in Currie Cup rugby this weekend with the youngster Piet van Zyl moving to the bench. Sarel Pretorius of courses previously played his Currie Cup Rugby for the Griquas. When asked about the move Toyota FS Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie said they felt it worked better for them in the second half against the MTN Golden Lions last weekend. They believe it’s a more attacking backline, especially with Barry Geel in the midfield as opposed to Andries Strauss.

The Toyota FS Cheetahs coaching staff belief Geel is better on attack where as Strauss is the slightly better defender. Strauss drops out of the match day 22 as punishment for his third yellow card of the year he picked up against the Lions in their ABSA Currie Cup opener.

South African U20 star Raymond Rhule retains his spot in the side after a very solid and impressive debut last weekend. Rhule’s inclusion in the side gives the Toyota FS Cheetahs something they have been lacking for a very long time – good striking power out wide! Smit should complement Rhule brilliantly on the other side of the field as he is his own right in a classy winger.

The Toyota Cheetahs biggest problem last weekend was that they got totally dominated up front by the MTN Golden Lions, who in their own right had a brilliant game up front.  The teams on field communication was a big problem as well and led to Derrick Minnie going over for the softest of tries against them. It is an area they have worked on hard and was evident at their training sessions.

The return of Andries Ferreira at lock will add some stability in the scrum as he is both a good lineout jumper and is very good in the scrum as well as on defence. As good of lock Waltie Vermeulen is, his scrumming work is seriously lacking and this sentiment was echoed by legendary Springbok and Cheetahs forwards coach Os du Randt.

The prospect of playing the Bulls on any given day is always a scary prospect, but the Cheetahs will need to prove to themselves they can beat the best this coming Friday night. The men from Pretoria have been severely weakened with eleven of their stars doing national duty; however, they showed a very experienced GWK Griquas outfit that even with their youngsters they have a lot of depth.

At this stage of the Currie Cup it’s very hard to say who will be the outright winner on Friday, but the one has to keep in mind the Cheetahs just had a bad day at the office last weekend. They have a lot to play for as the ABSA Currie Cup is much shorter than in recent years and every single victory is worth gold.

The Toyota Free State Side to face the Vodacom Blue Bulls is as follows:

15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Robert Ebersohn (Captain), 12. Barry Geel, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Kabama Floors, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Frans Viljoen, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Hercu Liebenberg, 1. Trevor Nyakane.


16. Elandré Huggert, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Francois Uys, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Phillip Snyman, 22. Nico Scheepers.

Kick-off at 19:10 Friday 17 August 2012

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein.

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