Cheetahs v Western Province - teams and prediction
PREPARATION FOR THE NEW SEASON: The Cheetahs and Western Province are both using this game as preparation for their next campaign.
The host team is looking towards the 2022 Currie Cup campaign, starting in January, and the visitors are gearing up for the resumption of the United Rugby Championship later this month.
The outing in Bloemfontein is the first of four matches in the new Challenge Series – which will also see the Cheetahs take on Spanish club Barcelona, the Sharks and Baia Mare from Romania.
While WP and the Sharks will provide the Cheetahs with familiar challenges, the midweek outing against Barcelona next Wednesday will see the local team go into unfamiliar territory.
“The guys that don’t start [against WP] on Saturday will start [next week] Wednesday,” Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie said.
He expects the Sharks to field their ‘strongest available’ team, while Baia Mare has seven Romanian internationals in their team – providing the Cheetahs with another ‘physical’ challenge.
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Province backs coach Dawie Snyman said one of the key aspects for them is to get some game time in a senior game into some of the younger players, while working on specifics of their heading into the two home matches in the URC.
Reverting to their ‘professional’ name, the Stormers, they will host Italian outfit Parma on Saturday, November 27, and Welsh franchise Cardiff a week later – both at the Cape Town Stadium.
“There were aspects of our game that we did well and it is now about building on that,” he told @rugby365com.
“It is also about getting the guys up to speed – those who were on the bench and did not go on tour.
“It is all about broadening our squad.
“We must ensure that, come the URC, we are all on the same page.”
Snyman added that this is a great opportunity to integrate some promising young talent into the senior ranks.
“We have got some really exciting players in this team along with a few more experienced guys, so we are looking forward to seeing how they feed off one another in Bloemfontein,” he said.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie said the four-match series is the start of their preparations for next year’s Currie Cup.
“It is important for us to get back on the bike as quickly as possible,” he said in reference to a lay-off of more than two months – their last competitive outing a Currie Cup encounter with the Bulls in Pretoria back in August.
“It is an opportunity for a number of players to show what they can do.”
The Cheetahs coach described the young WP selection as an ‘exciting’ team with a lot of speed and skill.
“I am sure they will look to put us under pressure with their attack – move the ball around and play with pace,” Fourie added.
He said they will take confidence from their success in the last couple of URC matches.
“We haven’t played since August and may need some time to get up to speed,” he said, adding: “Luckily we played against Zimbabwe last week.
“The first 20 minutes there was a lot of handling errors, but with that hit-out we will be better prepared for this one.”
@rugby365com: Cheetahs by eight points
Cheetahs: 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Siyabonga Masuku, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Aidon Davis (captain), 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Victor Sekekete, 3 Jacobus van Vuuren, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Aluluthu Tshakweni.
Replacements: 16 Marnus van der Merwe, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Hanru Jacobs, 19 Jeandré Labuschagne, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Zinedine Booysen, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Evardi Boshoff.
Western Province: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Nama Xaba (captain), 6 Jean-Jacques Kotze, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements – from: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Jarrod Taylor, 20 Romauld Ntumba, 21 Simon Miller, 22 Thomas Bursey, 23 Paschal Ekeji, 24 Mambo Mkhize, 25 Litha Nkula.
Date: Saturday, November 13
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17:30 (15.30 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby, Darren Colby
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni