Cheetahs v Invitation XV - teams and predictions
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Cheetahs are going to stay true to their DNA and play an expansive game in their encounter with an Invitation XV in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The game, from a Cheetahs perspective, is preparation for the Currie Cup tournament that is expected to get underway next month.
It will be the Bloemfontein outfit’s first outing in two months – having last played when they beat the Eastern Province Elephants 71-12 in a Preparation Series match on March 28.
For Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie the game has two main goals – preparing his team for the Currie Cup and looking at some fringe players.
Having helped to put the Invitation XV together, Fourie will not just look at his own team, but also some players in the Invitation XV.
These included a number of Varsity Cup players with promising futures – the likes of JP Duvenhage, Shane Bolton (both Shimlas), Cohen Jasper and Derik Pretorius (both CUT).
Fourie admitted that the excitement of returning to the playing got a bit overwhelming in training this week, adding that the main focus would be on the “execution” of their plays.
“We want to keep it simple, but execute really well,” Fourie said, adding that they want to work on their attacking shapes.
“We spent a lot of time on our phase play and shape in attack,” the coach said, adding: “That is the main aspect I want to see improvement on.
“Our focus will be on keeping the ball through phases, play the correct options, make the correct decisions and execute really well.”
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Cheetahs captain Ruan Pienaar suggested the Invitation team, given their limited preparation time, would like to keep it simple and uncomplicated.
“It is an exciting collection of players they have gathered,” the 88-Test veteran Springbok utility back suggested.
“I think they will play a high-tempo game – given the youthful nature of the squad.
“The younger players would like to showed what they have and play a more expansive game.”
He added the pace of the game could ‘test’ the Cheetahs’ conditioning.
“Everybody is just excited about finally getting back onto the field [after a two-month lay-off].
“We will also look to play at pace and be accurate with the ball in hand.
“It will be a typical Cheetahs game, an exciting game for the spectators [TV viewers].”
(Teams and predictions below video …)
@rugby365com: Cheetahs by 25 points
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Victor Sekekete, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements – from: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Coenraad van Vuuren, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Duncan Saal, 24 Chris Massyn, 25 Alulutho Tsakweni.
Invitation XV: 15 Richard Kriel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Shayne Bolton, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 WJ Steenkamp, 7 Johan du Toit (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Jean Droste, 4 Reinier Viljoen, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements – from: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Derick Pretorius, 20 Ruhan Straeuli, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 JP Duvenhage, 23 Tristin Leyds, 24 Jason Alexander, 25 Mihlali Mosi, 26 Cohen Jasper.
Date: Saturday, Date: Saturday, May 29
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Paul Mente and Mpho Matsaung
TMO: Ben Crause.