Le Roux vs Dagg

These two world-class individuals have the ability to change the course of a contest, writes JON CARDINELLI.

Willie le Roux was one of the standouts for the Springboks in the 2013 Test season. His attacking strengths certainly gave the Boks an edge, while his kicking game improved as the year progressed. In the early stages of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby competition, the Bok fullback has been a force, whether running with ball in hand or employing that ever-improving left boot.

While Le Roux still manages to break the line consistently and threaten on the counter-attack, his defensive form is a concern. It should also be a worry that the Cheetahs, as a unit, have not fronted on defence this season, and this is the primary reason why they are languishing near the bottom of the log. It's important for Le Roux to remain unpredictable with ball in hand this weekend, but it's just as important for the Cheetahs to complement their attack with some strong defence.

Despite Le Roux's breathtaking feats in 2013, Israel Dagg still led the way as the world's best fullback. Dagg started the 2013 season slowly with the Crusaders, but hit his stride when featuring for the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship and on the subsequent tour to Europe. He is a vital part of the All Blacks' tactical kicking game, although he is better known for his vision and finishing on attack.

This year has witnessed another slow start by this special player, but the Cheetahs will know that Dagg has the ability to spark something from nothing. The Crusaders will surely look to target the Cheetahs' weak defence, and so we should expect Dagg to cause the hosts a few problems in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/ Sandra Mu/ Getty Images

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Jon Cardinelli