PREVIEW: Cheetahs v Chiefs

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Friday, April 14, 2017    Getty Images

ROUND 8: Cheetahs v Chiefs, 1.05am (NZT) Sunday 16 April, Bloemfontein

The Cheetahs have to go back to round three for their last win, a 38-31 victory over the Sunwolves at home. Since then they have gone down to the Jaguares (14-41), the Sharks (30-38) and the Stormers (10-53). The Chiefs (26-34) loss to the Stormers last weekend was their first defeat for a while have beaten the Hurricanes (26-18), the Rebels (27-14) and the Bulls (28-12) before the Cape Town loss.


Niel Marais will be back directing traffic at first five-eighths for the Cheets with Fred Zeilinga spelled to the bench. Sergeal Petersen will start on the right wing while Nico Lee moves in from wing to centre. In the pack both props, Ox Nche and Johan Coetzee, will start while Charles Marais and Tom Botha will come off the bench. Carl Wegner will start at lock with Francois Uys on the bench.


Not knowing whether your rugby dream will continue under the threat of losing a Super Rugby place must be tough, and that is the concern the Cheetahs have. Wing Raymond Rhule said this week it was difficult seeing all the conjecture and not knowing what the outcome would be. But as players they still had a job to do on the field and that is what they would be concentrating on the task ahead. "We need to trust the professionals in the office, who will represent the union during the upcoming proceedings," he said.


The return of Sam Cane provides key experience in a combative, and mobile, looking forward pack where he will be joined by Mitchell Brown and Michael Leitch in the loose with back-up from two big ball-carrying locks in Brodie Retallick and Taleni Seu. Then, out in the backline there is the choice of Sam McNichol at centre to suggest some fireworks if enough quality possession can be secured by the visitors. Ensuring the win will be vital as the Chiefs face another disgruntled side with a point to prove next week in the Force.

Cheetahs: 1. Ox Nche, 2.Torsten van Jaarsveld, 3.Johan Coetzee, 4.Armandt Koster, 5.Carl Wegner, 6.Paul Schoeman, 7.Oupe Mohoje, 8.Henco Venter, 9.Shaun Venter, 10.Niel Marais, 11.Raymond Rhule, 12.Nico Lee, 13.Francois Venter (captain), 14.Sergeai Petersen, 15.Clayton Blommetjies.

Substitutes: 16.Elandre Huggett, 17.Charles Marais, 18.Tom Botha, 19.Francois Uys, 20.Niell Jordaan, 21.Junior Polomela/Luther Obi, 22.Tian Meyer, 23.Fred Zeilinga.

Chiefs: 1.Kane Hames, 2.Brayden Mitchell, 3.Atu Moli, 4.Taleni Seu, 5.Brodie Retallick, 6.Mitchell Brown, 7.Sam Cane (captain), 8.Michael Leitch, 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10.Aaron Cruden(co-captain), 11.James Lowe, 12.Anton Lienert-Brown, 13.Sam McNichol, 14.Toni Pulu, 15.Damian McKenzie.

Substitutes: 16.Hika Elliot, 17.Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18.Sosefo Kautai, 19.Dominic Bird, 20.Liam Messam, 21.Finlay Christie, 22.Alex Nankivell, 23.Shaun Stevenson.