Planet Rugby

Preview: Chiefs v Cheetahs

28th February 2013 08:34

Share:

Johan Goosen Cheetahs v Chiefs SR 2012

Similar styles: Chiefs tackle Cheetahs

The Cheetahs start their overseas tour with a tough Super Rugby assignment against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

It's the first home game of the season for the defending champions since beating the Sharks in the final at the same venue last year.

And the Chiefs will be out to bag maximum points for the second week in a row after opening their 2013 account with a highly entertaining win over the Highlanders in Dunedin, showing they've lost none of the attacking prowess that was on show in 2012.

The bonus-point win also made it clear that Dave Rennie's free-running troops will once again be serious contenders for the title.

What would have pleased Rennie - but not many fantasy league players at the time - was the kicking performance of Gareth Anscombe. The discarded Blues player was elected to kick at goal ahead of Aaron Cruden and didn't disappoint after contributing 21 points, whilst relieving the pressure off Aaron Cruden in that department at the same time.

Now the Chiefs turn their attention to the Cheetahs - a team who, like their Kiwi opposition, like to give the ball plenty of air. Indeed, if both side's reputations are anything to go by, then we should be in for a great attacking spectacle as witnessed in last season's exciting duel in Bloemfontein (won 39-33 by the Chiefs).

Whilst the Cheetahs enter this clash as massive underdogs, they showed in last week's loss to the Sharks that they won't go down without a fight. After trailing 5-26 early in the second half, they oozed bucket-loads of spirit by reducing the deficit to just four points before a late Sharks penalty sealed the win.

It wasn't an ideal start to lose at home before jetting off on a daunting road trip of Australasia, but at least they didn't leave empty-handed.

The Cheetahs will also be bouyed by the fact that they know how to win on New Zealand soil, having recorded their first ever win in the 'Land of the Long White Cloud' last year. With two wins, and two losing bonus points, it was their most successful overseas trip ever and Naka Drotske will be hoping his team can pull off the same feat.

The Cheetahs last visit to Hamilton (in 2010) was also a memorable one for the South African franchise. They didn't win, but didn't lose either - with the match ending in a draw.

Prediction: A Cheetahs win over the defending champions at home seems highly unlikely. But if the visitors can manage a similar result to the one recorded three years ago, it will be a massive achievement. Though we don't see that happening either, with a losing bonus point the best the Cheetahs can realistically hope for. Chiefs by 12!

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborn

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Landman Ligtoring, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smit, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Date: Saturday, March 2
Kick-off: 19:35 (06:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

By Dave Morris

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615