Planet Rugby

Preview: Cheetahs v Western Force

09th May 2014 08:33

Share:

Rayno Benjamin Cheetahs v W Force SR 2013

Battle of Bloem: Cheetahs v Force

The Cheetahs host the tournament's surprise package, the Western Force, in what promises to be an entertaining clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The two teams have experienced contrasting fortunes in 2014, with the Cheetahs currently lying last on the table while the Force - who, in previous campaigns were used to being amongst the basement dwellers - are currently in fifth spot.

The home side have delivered a mix bag of performances this season. They pride themselves on their attacking style of play but have battled on defence throughout the season.

Their recent form has been inconsistent and after delivering an impressive performance in a 35-22 demolition over the Stormers two weeks ago, they threw away an 18-9 half-time lead against the Bulls last weekend before suffering a 26-21 loss.

Coach Naka Drotské has recalled fly-half Johan Goosen and prop Coenie Oosthuizen and expects big contributions from the Springbok duo.

"It is good to have both Johan and Coenie back," said Drotské.

"They are two quality players that are very influential in the way we want to play.

"Coenie played 30 minutes against the Bulls and I think he showed he is ready for more this week. We will see how it goes with his fitness, but we are excited to have him back.

"Goose has had a rough patch were he had a couple of niggles, so hopefully everything is now 100 percent fine and he can play longer."

The history between the Cheetahs and the Force is very even over the years. After winning the first four matches between these teams, the Force have lost the next three. And the points' difference since 2006 is a mere nine points for an average score of 19-17 to the visitors from Perth.

The Force - who are playing their first match of a two-match South African tour - will be chasing their first win in Bloemfontein since 2008 when they edged out the Cheetahs, 16-15. The home side has claimed their past two fixtures in the Free State, winning 29-14 in 2010 and 17-13 in 2012.

The Force will also be looking for their first win on South African soil since March 2011, when they beat the Lions at Ellis Park.

Cheetahs skipper Adriaan Strauss is determined to extend that record, however.

"We will be looking to get that win, but we realise we have a lot to work and improve on," he said.

"We need to see an improvement in our play this weekend. Our focus will be on our own game and hopefully the result will come because of that.

"But we know we have to play very well tactically against the Force. They have a good kicking game and we need to be right up there on defence and work very hard."

The Western Force's South Africa's duo Wilhelm Steenkamp and Sias Ebersohn will be highly-motivated as they take on their former team-mates.

Steenkamp played one season for the Cheetahs in 2011, while Ebersohn spent five years at the South African franchise before crossing to the Force at the end of 2012.

The fifth-placed Force have six victories from their last seven games but coach Michael Foley knows his side must be at their best if they want to be victorious.

"The Cheetahs present a different challenge to other South Africa sides; while they use their set piece and kicking game as a weapon, they also play with width," explained Foley.

"If we maintain our work rate and discipline in defence as a 15, we will earn important opportunities to attack from turnover ball."

Prediction: This should be an entertaining and high-scoring spectacle but the Force will break their three-year drought in South Africa. Western Force to win by five points!

The teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule/Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Waltie Vermeulen, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks/Howard Mnisi.

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

Date: Saturday, May 10
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bleomfontein
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Francois de Bruin (South Africa), Marius Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26