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Preview: Cheetahs vs Bulls

  • 11 Oct 2013
Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen is back for the Cheetahs Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen is back for the Cheetahs

The Free State Cheetahs and Blue Bulls will face off in Bloemfontein on Saturday in what is virtually a quarter-final.

Although the Cheetahs have a five-point lead over the Bulls on the log, they will know they are in for a battle against the Pretoria-based outfit.

The visitors need a five-point victory and a winning margin of more than eight points. They would also need to prevent the Cheetahs from scoring a single bonus point if they are to advance to the semi-finals.

With his Springboks back in contention, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has chosen to start with Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen, who will partner another Bok, Trevor Nyakane, to bolster the Free State scrum.

'This is crunch time,' said Drotské. 'We've spoken among ourselves and are well aware of what is on the line. We know that for one of us it is going to be glory and for the other goodbye. A single log point may be good enough, but we want at least four.'

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar knows his side are up against heavy odds but he is still determined to secure an unlikely victory.

'We are under a lot of pressure and need to score tries, so we have decided to include a number of ball-carriers for the game,' Pienaar said. 'Guys like Jono Ross and Jacques Engelbrecht will have to get us over the advantage line so we can give our backline good ball to work with.'

Our team's predictions

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Willie du Plessis.

Blue Bulls – 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross (c), 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Francois Venter, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.

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Photo: Carle Lombard/Gallo Images

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