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Cheetahs v Western Force - Teams and Prediction

PREVIEW: Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie admitted it is difficult to simulate European conditions in Bloemfontein and Perth, so he will use Saturday’s game to give a whole batch of different players some much-needed game time.

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The Cheetahs edged the Force 31-27 in the first of four outings last Friday.

Apart from giving a group of players game time, against a young and under-strength touring team from Australia, Fourie got some early answers ahead of a second season in the European Challenge Cup.

The Cheetahs coach feels the real value of this challenge series will only come to fruition when they travel to Pert for rounds three and four, in late September and early October.

There were a few injury concerns after last Friday’s hit-out – with Evardi Boshoff (shoulder), Sibabalo Qoma (hamstring) and Hencus van Wyk (hamstring) main concerns.

Having left a substantial number of their quality players back in Perth, sending a very inexperienced – albeit enthusiastic – team to Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs are also using the game as a trial.

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“When we get to Perth, we will face a very different team,” Fourie told @rugby365com.

“We will field a very different team [for Saturday’s return fixture] and afterwards select a 27-man touring squad for the trip to Perth.”

He said they will have to improve in a lot of areas, especially on defence.

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“That [defence] is an attitude thing,” the coach said.

Given the contrasting conditions they face in Bloemfontein and Perth, it won’t be ideal preparation for their second stint in Europe.

“We will play according to the conditions.

We will work on our attack and continuity, while our skills have to improve.

“We also missed a lot of tackles, because we did have the linespeed we required.”

The Cheetahs will look for a much-improved performance on Saturday.

All four of the Cheetahs tries in the round one encounter came from mauls, while the Force were much better in playing an expansive game.

“We were not happy with the performance, but we are glad that we could pull it through,” said Fourie.

Western Force head coach Simon Cron said there were stand-out performances on the field last week and newcomer Harry Potter was a stand-out.

“He’s been a stand-out since he arrived. We believe he has what it takes to become a Wallaby.”

Potter landed the Force’s second try of the match, closing the gap prior to the sound of the half-time buzzer.

Co-Captain Max Burey said that the team is excited to get back out on the field and get in front of the South African fans again.

“I think being a Saturday game we expect there to be a lot more fans at the game and they create a really good atmosphere to play in.”

“You don’t often get the chance to play against the same team back-to-back, so it’s exciting to take those learnings from the first match and be able to put them into practice straight away.”

Prediction

@rugby365com: Cheetahs by five points

Teams

Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Raegan Oranje, 13 David Brits, 12 Abner van Reenen, 11 Marcell Muller, 10 George Lourens, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (Captain), 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Janus Venter, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Zito Victor Sekekete, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Friedle Olivier, 22 Ruan Pienaar, 23 Robert Ebersohn

Western Force: 15 Harry Potter, 14 George Poolman, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Ronan Leahy, 10 Max Burey, 9 Henry Robertson, 8 Jeremy Williams, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Donny Freeman, 5 Lopeti Faifua, 4 Jackson Pugh, 3 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Marley Pearce
Replacements: 16 Ford Hemi, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Regi Churchward, 19 Fa’amanu Kalolo, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Gio Leituala

Date: Saturday, September 2
Venue: Venue: Bloemfontein Stadium, Free State
Kick-off: 15.00 (21.00 AWST, 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni.
Assistant referees: Christopher Allison and Griffin Colby
TMO: Quinton Immelman.

 

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