• Preview: Cheetahs vs Bulls

    The Cheetahs will try claim their first-ever Vodacom Super Rugby win against the Bulls when they clash in Bloemfontein.

    The two losing sides from round one face off at the Free State Stadium on Friday night looking to get their respective campaigns back on track after disappointing performances on the opening day.

    The Bulls were completely outplayed by the Sharks in Durban last weekend, leading coach Frans Ludeke to dish out some very stern words during the week, lamenting his team's inability to cash in on their opportunities.

    On the other side of the fence, the pressure is also on the Cheetahs, who cannot afford to lose two home games in a row if they are to have any hope of making the play-offs.

    Much like the Bulls, the Cheetahs were the architects of their own downfall last week as the first game of the season produced the first surprise result. There is no way the Lions should have won that game given the Cheetahs' domination in the possession and territory stakes.

    Coach Naka Drotské said their performance against the Lions was their worst in three years, but that he would not restrict play-making fullback Willie le Roux, who blew hot and cold last week.

    Victor Matfield will set a new South African record for Super Rugby appearances as he will play in his 126th match (117 Bulls, eight Cats). He currently shares the record with John Smit and AJ Venter.

    Cheetahs  15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
    Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Rynard Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Hennie Daniller.

    Bulls  15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Flip van der Merwe (c), 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
    Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Wian Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

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    Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

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