Preview: Western Province v FS Cheetahs

Date published: August 13 2015

Western Province will be hoping to make it two from two when they host the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands in the big Currie Cup game of Round Two on Saturday. 

The defending champions swept Griquas aside on the road last week while the Cheetahs were thrashed at home by the Blue Bulls, so the form book points towards an easy win for the hosts in Cape Town.

The streep truie will not be taking anything for granted, however, since the Cheetahs have proven to be tricky opposition for the men from the Cape in recent years.

"Forget the Cheetahs' loss to the Bulls – it was a freakish game in many ways. The Cheetahs are always a tough team and they're always up for playing against Province at Newlands – it tends to raise their game in a way too," said head coach John Dobson, who has named an unchanged starting line-up for his first home game at the helm of the WP senior side.

"As coaches, especially as a new coaching unit, we know the responsibilities that go with coaching at this union – and coaching at DHL Newlands – and we would love to open our 2015 home campaign on a high," he added.

The Free State side faltered in their first match in Bloemfontein and new coach, Franco Smith, has made a number of changes to his side in a bid to get the desired result in Cape Town. 

New fly-half recruit Fred Zeilinga will make his first start for the visitors as the ex-Shark takes over the number 10 jersey from rookie Niel Marais. 

Former Western Force fly-half Sias Ebersohn is back in South Africa and he will provide cover for Zeilinga. The other change in the backline sees AJ Coertzen replace Coenie van Wyk at full-back. 

Amongst the forwards, Neil Jordaan will be starting at number eight with Gerhard Olivier now on the bench, while Armandt Koster will start at lock in place of Willem Serfontein and Niel Raubenheimer makes way for Jacques du Toit at hooker.

The last time these teams met, WP won 34-29 in Bloemfontein. 

The teams:

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Jan de Klerk, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Kobus van Wyk

Free State Cheetahs: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Neil Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (c), 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 Gerhard Olivier, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 Tertius Kruger, 22 Sias Ebersohn

Date: Saturday, August 15
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs, Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Willie Vos