The Cheetahs will have their hands full this weekend as they take on the 2012 champions, The Chiefs, in Hamilton on Saturday, 2 March 2013.
The Cheetahs have selected the same side as last week, with the only change being Sarel Pretorius, who comes off the bench to start while Piet van Zyl moves onto the substitutes list.
The selection to stick with last week’s line-up isn’t surprising, as despite the result, the team played very well against the Sharks, with the forward and backs combining for some great plays.
Number 8 Philip van der Walt stood out specifically, and was powerful in both defence and attack, scoring himself a try and setting up another.
Even with the strong side, the Chiefs will be a handful for the Cheetahs, especially coming off the impressive win over the Highlanders in Round 2.
The Chiefs have made a few changes from the side that defeated the Highlanders in Dunedin last week.
Hika Elliot has recovered from a calf injury and will start in the front row, while lock Michael Fitzgerald, scrumhalf Augustine Pulu and winger Lelia Masaga all starting, with Craig Clarke, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Patrick Osborne moving onto the bench.
“Out of all the South African sides the Cheetahs probably play a style that is closest to ours,” said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie. “They are innovative and can score tries from anywhere around the park and like all South African sides they are big and physical.
“We had a really free flowing match against them in Bloemfontein last year, and we are expecting them to play a style of game similar to us, which is a free flowing, high paced, ruck and run game.”
Kick-off is on Saturday, 2 March 2013, at 08:35 CAT (SA, GMT+2).
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin.
1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 Hika Elliot, 3 Ben Afeaki, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Brodie Retallick, 6 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 8 Fritz Lee, 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Aaron Cruden, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Bundee Aki, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Lelia Masaga, 15 Gareth Anscombe
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborne