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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00