Cheetahs have score to settle in Nelspruit
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Cheetahs have a score to settle with the defending Currie Cup champions, the Pumas, when they face each other in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The last time these two teams met, the Pumas came out as resounding victors as they romped to a 61-21 victory over the Free State team in March.
In fact, the men from Nelspruit have won the last three outings, but the Cheetahs are currently in second spot on the log and would be out to defend that position on the table.
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Coach Hawies Fourie only made two changes to the starting line-up for this week with Reinhardt Fortuin coming at centre and Conraad van Vuuren who will wear the number three jumper in place of Lawrence Victor.
“We would like to rectify our record against the Pumas. They have improved over the last three years and are the defending champions. We respect them but want to turn the tables this weekend,” Fourie said.
These two teams like scoring tries and have the most and second most tries scored, namely 55 to the Cheetahs and 53 to the Pumas while they have only conceded 33 (Cheetahs) and 32 (32) a piece.
The Sharks, who are top of the log and only two points abreast of the Cheetahs, face the Lions and should things go haywire for the Durbanites, the Cheetahs still have a chance of securing a home semifinal.
The Pumas, if they manage to bag five points, can only realistically move to second on the log.
Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Evardi Boshoff, 23 Robert Ebersohn
Date: Saturday, 3 June
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Morne Ferreira
Assistant Referees: Paul Mente, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Egon Seconds