Cheetahs

Cheetahs plan a last hooray

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The Cheetahs, who are delaying a final decision on their injured captain Juan Smith, have made four changes to their team for the final outing on their five-match Australasian tour – against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

Cheetahs team manager Naka Drotsk’ confirmed on Wednesday that it is “unlikely” that Smith would play, after he pulled his hamstring in training on Monday.

“At this stage it doesn’t look like he will play,” Drotsk’ said.

With Smith doubtful the loose forwards already show at least one change.

Ryno van der Merwe takes over at number eight from Kabamba Floors and he will take over the captaincy if Smith is ruled out. Heinrich Brussouw is on standby to take over on the flank.

The other changes are in the backline, where Bevin Fortuin returns from suspension to replace Philip Burger at fullback and Willem de Waal comes in at fly-half in place of Herkie Kruger.

Drotsk’ said the team was bitterly disappointed with the manner in which they let themselves and the coaching staff down against the Reds last week – losing 13-23.

“We have worked very hard this week to lift the players’ morale. It has been a long tour [five weeks] and it gets tougher each week if you don’t get results [victories],” Drotsk’ said.

“The team spirit is good and we just hope they can lift themselves for this last game of the tour,” the manager added.

The Cheetahs have been unable to win any matches in Australasia since returning to Super Rugby in 2006.

Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Ronnie Cooke, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Ryno van der Merwe, 7 Juan Smith (c)/Heinrich Brussouw, 6 Duane Vermeulen, 5 Rory Duncan, 4 Corniel van Zyl, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Ollie le Roux, 18 Bian Vermaak, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Herkie Kruger, 22 Tiger Mangweni.

Date: Friday, 27 April
Venue: Subiaco Oval, Perth
Kick-off: 19.45 (11.45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand), Paul Marks (Australia)
Television match official: Andrew Lindsay (Australia)
Assessor: Andrew Cole

 

365 Digital

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