Planet Rugby

Preview: Western Force v Cheetahs

22nd March 2013 11:03

Share:

Heinrich Brussow Cheetahs v W Force 2012

Battle of Perth: Force v Cheetahs

Two of the tournament's traditional strugglers, the Western Force and the Cheetahs, face each other in Perth on Saturday.

Both these sides are high on confidence after claiming memorable victories last weekend. The Force beat the Reds 19-12 in Brisbane and the Cheetahs edged out the Waratahs 27-26 in Sydney.

The win for the Force was their first ever Super Rugby triumph in Brisbane, since they joined the competition in 2006, as well as their first victory for 2013.

They showed, however, in an earlier loss to the Bulls that they can compete against the more fancied teams in the tournament and were leading the three-times champions for most of the second half before suffering a 36-26 defeat.

This match is a special occassion for Force wing Alfie Mafi who is set to make his 50th Super Rugby appearance. He has played 33 matches over three seasons for the Force, nine matches for the Waratahs (in 2008) and also made seven appearances for the Brumbies (2009 and 2010).

Mafi has been in fine form this season and is the Force's leading try-scorer with four tries in as many games.

The match will have extra significance for the Force as they be playing in their new nib Stadium for the first time since it recently received a $95 million renovation.

The Cheetahs are looking for a third victory overseas, and coach Naka Drotske has chosen not to tamper too much with his side that claimed the scalps of the Highlanders and Waratahs.

He has been forced, however, to plot the Force's downfall knowing that he will be without the services of Johan Goosen who is out of the tournament after tearing knee ligaments.

Drotske has included Riaan Smit as Goosen's replacement and is confident in his new fly-half's abilities.

"To lose Johan to injury is a major blow, but this is the perfect time for Riaan Smit to prove his worth," Drotske said.

These teams have faced each other six times and the Force have won four of those matches and the Cheetahs two.

Two of those Force wins came on the two previous occasions when these sides faced each other in Perth. The Cheetahs will not be worried about that statistic, however, as they showed in their most recent triumphs that traveling overseas is no longer a daunting task.

Prediction: Although the Cheetahs have done well on the road, the loss of Goosen will be a huge blow, not just in this game but also during the rest of the tournament. The Force will be keen to impress in their first home game and should maintain their perfect record against the Cheetahs in Perth. Force to win by five points!

Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (c).
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Matt Hodgson, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jayden Hayward.

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

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00