Vodacom Super 14
Cheetahs front row aim high
Coenie Oosthuizen (Photo: Maradine Whitehorn)
Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs’ front row is determined to finish the season on a high in Welkom on Saturday.
Their scrummagers have struggled to hit their straps in 2010, but can make up for that in their final Super 14 clash against the inexperienced Lions.
Cheetahs tighthead prop WP Nel said that he and his team-mates are determined to post a fifth victory and a powerful scrumming performance will make it particularly sweet.
“We’re definitely planning on finishing the Super 14 on a high and would like to go into the Currie Cup with confidence. That is why it’s an important game in terms of scrumming in the build-up to the Currie Cup,” he said.
There were high expectations about the Cheetahs’ scrumming following their good performances in that regard in last year’s Currie Cup.
Wian du Preez, Coenie Oosthuizen (both loosehead props), Adriaan Strauss (hooker) and Nel ensured continuity from the Currie Cup into the Super 14.
However, they struggled against the Bulls in their first game and their low point came overseas against the Crusaders.
But things have improved since the draw against the Chiefs.
Nel says there are no excuses for their initial struggles in the scrums.
“We can only learn from it. We take it on the chin and want to improve,” he said.
He believes the injuries they had to deal with on a weekly basis might have played a role.
“We seldom scrummed with the same pack.”
Nel added that there will definitely be an improvement in the Currie Cup and Saturday’s game is a good opportunity to start the onslaught. And who better than a winless Lions team to do that against.
The Cheetahs may not be satisfied with their scrumming performance, but it has to be considered a weakness of the Lions.
Names such as Ross Geldenhuys (tighthead), Charles Emslie (hooker) and JC Janse van Rensburg (loosehead) gave few opponents sleepless nights this season.
Nel believes the Lions struggled to find rhythm in the scrums because of player rotation.
“We’ll definitely take them on up front and give our backs good ball to run with."
Cheetahs v Lions, Welkom 15:00Cheetahs:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Bjorn Basson, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman/Corné Uys, 11. Corné Uys/Wilmaure Louw, 10. Naas Olivier, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Barend Pieterse, 4. Izak van der Westhuizen, 3. WP Nel, 2. Skipper Badenhorst, 1. Wian du Preez
Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Marnus Hugo, 21. Louis Strydom, 22. Riaan ViljoenLions:
15. Carlos Spencer, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. Marius Delport, 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Deon van Rensburg, 10. Herkie Kruger, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Derick Minnie, 7. Franco van der Merwe, 6. Wikus van Heerden (captain), 5. George Earle, 4. Nico Luus, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Charles Emslie, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16. Hannes Franklin, 17. Gert Muller, 18. David Bulbring, 19. Jonathan Mokuena, 20. Jacques Coetzee, 21. Michael Killian, 22. Bernardo Botha