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Preview: Cheetahs v Chiefs

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Friday, April 4, 2014    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

HEAD TO HEAD: Played: 8, Cheetahs 1, Chiefs 5, Drawn 2

LAST TIME:
Cheetahs 3 lost to Chiefs 45, March 2 2013, Waikato Stadium

WALKING WOUNDED: The Cheetahs are without Coenie Oosthuizen who has a neck injury. No.8 Phillip van der Walt is out due to a broken hand and won't be considered for two months. Sam Cane is back on the flank for the Chiefs while Michael Fitzgerald has been placed on the blindside of the scrum with Liam Messam moving to No.8. Augustine Pulu will start at halfback while Gareth Anscombe has been giving the starting berth at fullback. On the bench hooker Mahonri Schwalger has suffered an eye issue and has been replaced by Nathan Harris. Schwalger joined Ben Afeaki in returning home early from the tour, Afeaki having suffered a head knock in training.

FORM: Having lost all four games on the road the Cheetahs had little or no form to speak of, this after having beaten the Bulls earlier in the competition. But having had the bye last weekend to recoup and being back on home turf should be worth some points to the Cheetahs. The Chiefs through the admission of their coaches have not hit their straps yet this season although they are managing to show glimpses of the qualities that made them two-time champions. That was most evident in last weekend's come from behind draw with the Bulls.

WE THINK:
Before leaving for their tour the Cheetahs had an impressive defensive record at home. It wasn't so effective on the road, but if they can regain their best touch they will offer a running contest to the Chiefs. However, the greater firepower in the Chiefs team, across the board, suggests it will gain its share of set piece advantage and could give the home side a real test in the expansive game. The Chiefs should emerge with the win they are seeking.

TEAMS:


Cheetahs:
1.Trevor Nyakane, 2.Adriaan Strauss (captain), 3.Maks van Dyk, 4.Lodewyk de Jager, 5.Francois Uys, 6.Boom Prinsloo, 7.Lappies Labuschagne, 8.Jean Cook, 9.Sarel Pretorious, 10.Johan Goosen, 11.Hennie Daniller, 12.Rayno Benjamin, 13.Johann Sadie, 14.Cornal Hendricks, 15.Willie le Roux.

Reserves: 16.Ryno Barnes, 17.Caylib Oosthuizen, 18.Rossouw de Klerk, 19.Andries Ferreira, 20.Teboho Mohoje, 21.Shaun Venter, 22.Elgar Watts, 23.Howard Mnisi.

Chiefs:
1.Pauliasi Manu, 2.Rhys Marshall, 3.Ben Tameifuna, 4. Matt Symons, 5.Brodie Retallick, 6. Michael Fitzgerald, 7.Sam Cane, 8. Liam Messam, 9.Augustine Pulu, 10.Aaron Cruden (captain), 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12.Tom Marshall, 13.Andrew Horrell, 14.Tim Nanai-Williams, 15.Gareth Anscombe.

Reserves: 16.Nathan Harris, 17. Jamie Mackintosh, 18.Josh Hohneck, 19. Liam Squire, 20.Tanerau Latimer, 21.Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22.Anton Lienert-Brown, 23.Mils Muliaina.

REFEREE:
Craig Joubert