Erasmus makes minimal changes for Hurricanes


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Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus has made minimal changes from the side that went down over the weekend, as his charges square up to the Hurricanes in a Super 14 match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

According to Erasmus, the three players to be replaced have not been dropped, but are part of the rotation squad system as the Cheetahs face the top of the log Wellington team.

Lock Kobus Grobebelaar comes in for Corniel van Zyl, prop Jannie du Plessis replaces Springbok tight-head CJ van der Linde and flank Kamamba Floors comes back from injury in place of Gareth Krause.

‘These are definitely not panic changes but part of the rotation system, I mean how can you drop a guy like CJ (van der Linde),’ Erasmus said when he named the team on Thursday.

The changes to the pack may have come about after the Highlanders’ 17-12 win in the last round, but strangely enough Erasmus has not tinkered with the backline, who have not fired apart from 40 minutes against the Sharks.

‘In the last three games the conditions were very wet and this has not allowed us to play our backline ploys that we have put in place so we are hoping for dry weather and a chance for our backs to prove their worth,’ explained Erasmus.

Prove their worth they will have to, with the Hurricanes backline division amongst the most explosive in the competition. The likes of centre pairing Tana Umaga and Ma’a Nonu, coupled with speedsters Lome Fa’atau and Hosea Gear, will test any team defensively and offensively. ‘We know how their centre pairing operates, the bang the ball up hard and we have prepared accordingly,’ said backline coach Franco Smith.

The Cheetahs halfback pairing of Michael Claasens and Meyer Bosman will in particular have to put up their defensive hands if they are to keep in check monster flank Jerry Collins and fellow All Black scrumhalf Piri Weepu, who will surely attack the inside channel, to give their outside backs more room.

Erasmus admitted the Hurricanes tight five are not quite as effective as the Highlanders and they use different ploys in the set-phases. ‘They don’t focus on the set-pieces as much as the Highlanders for example, but saying that we will want to use our backs as an attack tactic,’ said Erasmus.


Bevin Fortuin, Giscard Pieters, Ronnie Cooke, Barry Goodes, Gaffie du Toit, Meyer Bosman, Micheal Claasens, Ryno van der Merwe, Juan Smith (c), Kamamba Floors, Barend Pieterse, Kobus Grobbelaar, Jannie du Plessis, Tiaan Liebenberg, Os Durandt.

Replacements: Ollie le Roux, Wian du Preez, Ockie van Zyl, Frans Viljoen, Falie Oelshig, Sinethemba Zweni, Eddie Fredericks.

Source : Sapa /ar

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