Lions

Lions v Cheetahs preview

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Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 15.00 (13.00 GMT)

This is a catfight to decide who finishes last amongst the South African teams, so the lack of log importance is not likely to detract from what is set to be a highveld battle.

But on the other hand, both of these sides have dramatically weakened over the closing rounds and one wonders if either has anything left to offer in their final round in this year’s Super 14.

Two years ago these players used to form one franchise, and both sides seems to be in a rebuilding phase to regain some depth of talent.

There was early talk of both sides being end-of-season contenders, but these sides have simply not had the physical and psychological breakthrough in coping with high pressure rugby week in and week out.

Look out for Ashwin Willemse, who is reportedly set for a run off the bench for the Lions. A great talent marred by tremendous injury, a comeback in Super rugby may kickstart a renewal. But it is bound to be only the first step in what called be a longer path to walk.

The Cheetahs, in the midst of great structure, they have simply failed to tackle and score tries, and, as a result have lost the confidence to play acording to their pattern.

Prediction: The Lions, with home advantage, and a bit more fire in their bellies, should wrap this one up. The Lions by more than ten.

Lions: tba

Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Noel Oelschig, 8 Juan Smith (c), 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Corniel van Zyl, 4 Rory Duncan, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Os du Randt
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Bian Vermaak, 20 Ryno van der Merwe, 21 Michael Claasens, 22 Alwyn Hollenbach

Referee: Phillip Bosch (South Africa)
Touch judges: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Willie Roos (South Africa)
Television match official: Gareth Lloyd-Jones (South Africa)
Assessor: Arrie Schoonwinkel, Paul Ramsay

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