Bok trio on Cheetahs bench
Bloemfontein – Free State coach Naka Drotské says his substitute bench is the strongest that it has been since 2007, with the inclusion of three Springboks there in prop CJ van der Linde, flank Kabamba Floors and centre Meyer Bosman.
He believes the six Boks on the two benches will have a major influence on the outcome of the Currie Cup match between Free State and the Sharks this weekend.
With prop Beast Mtawarira, flank Jean Deysel and scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar on the Sharks’ bench, the outcome of the match may be in the balance until the dying seconds.
“A substitutes bench with genuine gamebreakers has probably been a shortcoming since 2007,” said Drotské.
“But last weekend against the Blue Bulls our bench really made a big impact and I expect the same with regards to intensity in the second half on Saturday. Everyone knows how explosive CJ is as a ball-carrier and everyone knows Kabamba. Meyer can have an equally big influence.”
Van der Linde and Mtawarira have a lot on the line as they seek to impress the Springbok selectors with a view to wearing the No 3 and No 1 jerseys respectively in the showdown against the All Blacks at Soccer City on 21 August.
Van der Linde was in action in the last Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies, while Mtawarira is rusty and will welcome any game time.
Drotské believes scrumhalf Tertius Carse and flyhalf Sias Ebersohn will make a big impact again like they did against the Blue Bulls.
Ebersohn is still on the bench after his good performance against the Bulls as Louis Strydom’s reliable boot is keeping him in the No 10 jersey.
Strydom kicks significantly better on the training field than Ebersohn and he has not received the praise that is due to him for his good tactical kicking against Griquas and the Blue Bulls.
Carse is on the bench for the same reason, with Tewis de Bruyn considered a better kicker.
Carse and Ebersohn have proved that they are at their most dangerous when the Cheetahs lose their the shackles and shift the ball in the last few minutes.
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks, Bloemfontein - 15:00
Free State Cheetahs:
Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Corné Uys,
11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Ashley
Johnson, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Barend
Pieterse, 4. Izak van der Westhuizen, 3. Willem Petrus Nel, 2. Adriaan
Strauss, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Skipper
Badenhorst, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Kabamba
Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Meyer Bosman
Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche (captain), 12.
Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Steve Meyer, 9. Charl McLeod, 8.
Ryan Kankowski, 7. Keegan Daniel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Ross Skeate, 4.
Steven Sykes, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Patric Cilliers
16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Tendai Mtawarira, 18. Eugene van Staden, 19.
Willem Alberts, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Ruan Pienaar, 22. Andries Strauss