Preview: Cheetahs vs Lions
- 13 Sep 2013
Friday night's Currie Cup match in Bloemfontein is an important one for both the Free State Cheetahs and Golden Lions.
The Cheetahs have blown hot and cold this season and suffered a 26-10 loss to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.
The home side will have to be at their best against the Lions who, along with the Bulls, are the tournament's leading try-scorers (17).
The Cheetahs have won only two of their five previous matches and their coach Naka Drotské knows that his side cannot afford further slip-ups.
'This game is really important for us,' he said. 'This year's competition is a tightly-contested affair, and just one victory can boost a side by three places on the log.'
After beating Griquas 38-32 in Kimberley last weekend, the Lions headed straight for Bloemfontein.
'The Lions have been in our backyard for the whole week,' Drotské said. 'That can be a positive or a negative thing from their perspective. The fact that they have been gone from home for a while could count in our favour. We hope it does, but we still expect a very tight battle.'
Despite a slow start to the competition, the Lions have caught up with the frontrunners after going on a three-match unbeaten run.
Their coach Johan Ackermann is wary of the Cheetahs and expects a backlash from the hosts after their defeat to the Bulls.
'It seems we always get teams that have lost their previous games and then they are over-motivated when they run out against us,' Ackermann said. 'That will be the same with the Cheetahs. They lost to the Bulls and will be a tough nut to crack.'
Free State Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo (c), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Tertius Daniller, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque.
Golden Lions – 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (c), 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Subs: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Ruhan Nel.
Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images
SA Rugby mag’s Test Team of the Year
JON CARDINELLI picks the best 23 players of the 2013 Test season.
Du Preez’s attracting attention
Former Kings flank Cornell du Preez has been in good form for Edinburgh and could go on to play Test rugby for Scotland. GAVIN MORTIMER reports.
How Mandela saved the Springbok
Once synonymous with oppression and apartheid, the actions of former president Nelson Mandela gave the Springbok emblem new meaning to all South Africans, wrote MARK KEOHANE in a 100-year anniversary article in 2006.