Preview: Cheetahs v Crusaders
Thursday, April 10, 2014 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Things you need to know: The Cheetahs came through the first game back home after their tour unscathed and are looking to build on that against the Crusaders. The Cheetahs are second from last on the points table and have more leaks in their defence than most and yet are looking to be physical in dealing with the Crusaders' threat. The Crusaders are expected to welcome their captain Kieran Read to the fray and he will make a difference and if he can get the hinge between forwards and backs working perfectly then the Crusaders may turn on the class.
Reason to watch: There will be action aplenty in this contest but with some Crusaders pragmatism thrown in to put the home team under defensive pressure.
Reason to worry: If the sides get caught up in scrummaging, although that would seem unlikely, it could detract from the prospective spectacle of one of the more dashing games of the competition.
Say what: "We know that we have to execute for 80 minutes if we want to beat them." – Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske
Final instructions: At no stage would the Crusaders want to let the home side get the jump on them. The Cheetahs have the power to turn play around quickly and if they get their confidence, and a sense of momentum, the consequences could be horrendous for the New Zealanders. The Crusaders, on form this year do not have the capacity in their ranks to manage the sort of recovery the Chiefs have twice mounted in Africa this season. But expect them to be methodical, to attempt to tie the Cheetahs into the breakdown and then exploit the wider spaces. Fullback Israel Dagg has been relatively quiet this year, Bloemfontein could be just the platform for him to work his magic.
Cheetahs: 1.Trevor Nyakane, 2.Adriaan Strauss (captain), 3.Nicolaas 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 Deniller, 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.
Crusaders: 1.Wyatt Crockett, 2.Corey Flynn, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Dominic Bird, 5.Samuel Whitelock, 6.George Whitelock, 7.Matt Todd, 8.Kieran Read (captain), 9.Willi Heinz, 10.Colin Slade, 11. Namani Nadolo, 12.Ryan Crotty, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14.Johnny McNicholl, 15.Israel Dagg.
Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17.Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18.Owen Franks, 19.Jimmy Tupou, 20.Jordan Taufua, 21.Andy Ellis, 22.Tyler Bleyendaal, 23.Tom Taylor
Referee: Glen Jackson
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