Preview: Griquas v FS Cheetahs

Date published: August 20 2015

Both the Free State Cheetahs and Griquas will be desperate to get a win under the belt when they meet in Kimberley on Friday.

After two rounds of action, the two sides who combine during Super Rugby to form the Cheetahs are languishing at the bottom of the Currie Cup table.

Griquas lost their opener to Western Province at home before suffering the same fate against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last weekend. And the Cheetahs also came off second best to those same two sides in their opening matches.

The men from Bloemfontein showed considerable improvement in last weekend's 9-3 loss to WP after they conceded 50 points in their opening match against the Bulls.

Despite his side's narrow loss to WP, Cheetahs coach Franco Smith was encouraged by the improved showing and expects them to build on that effort this weekend.

“I am excited, we are building, growing, and trying to get everything firing and a little bit of confidence would be great,” he said.

“Last week in difficult conditions the backs did really well, I think we created the opportunities we would ask in a game like that and hopefully playing in dryer conditions they’ll be even more effective.”

Griquas coach Hawies Fourie has named an unchanged team for this encounter despite losing 36-12 to the Bulls last weekend.

In that match they were competitive during the first half and held a 12-6 lead at the interval. They do not have big name players but will not  give up without a fight.

Keep an eye on exciting wings Ruhan Nel and Ntabeni Dukisa – who both scored tries in the loss to the Bulls – as well as veterans Riaan Viljoen (fly-half) and former Springbok Hilton Lobberts (flanker). 

Prediction: This should be the Currie Cup's closest match of the weekend as both side are keen to notch their first victory of the season. The Cheetahs have more class, however, and will win by four points!

The teams:

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Michael Van Der Spuy, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 AJ Le Roux, 1 Danie Minnie.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 18 Jaco Nepgen, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Clinton Swart, 22 Jacquin Jansen

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Armandt Koster, 3  Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Maks van Dyk, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21 Ruan van Rensburg, 22 Sias Ebersohn

Date: Friday, August 21
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Renier Vermeulen, Pieter Janse van Vuuren
TMO: Johan Greeff