Vodacom Super 14
Payback time for Pieterse
Barend Pieterse (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Barend Pieterse started 2010 as the Cheetahs’ lineout coach.
He then played for Free State at Vodacom Cup level before having to play on the flank for the Cheetahs due to the number of injuries in the Cheetahs ranks, and has played there since their game against the Reds.
The 31-year-old will come full circle in Hamilton on Friday when he plays in his favoured position of No 5 lock against the Chiefs for the first time since making a comeback after calling time on his career in 2008.
Pieterse was considered the best lineout forward in South Africa after Victor Matfield when he retired because of a knee injury in 2008. He was particularly good at reading opponents’ lineout signs and made the Cheetahs one of the best teams in that area.
Friday is “Payback day” for Pieterse and he will have to let his play do the talking after a few disappointing performances on the flank.
There are experts that doubt whether he is still a Super 14 quality player considering the form of Matfield and Andries Bekker. Pieterse will only be able to convince the doubters with a five-star performance.
“I have little doubt that Barend will be at his best again,” said former Cheetahs coach Peet Kleynhans.
“He has the experience and is the right person to play at lock now.”
With Pieterse back at lock and Juan Smith on the flank it will come as no surprise if the Cheetahs produce their best tour performance.
The closest the Cheetahs have come to winning on tour before was in Hamilton.
They lost 32-33 against the Chiefs in 2006 and 20-22 in 2008. The Cheetahs have never been able to beat the Chiefs in Super rugby.Chiefs v Cheetahs, Hamilton - 09:35Chiefs:
15. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Dwayne Sweeney, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Callum Bruce, 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu ,10. Stephen Donald, 9. Junior Poluleuligaga, 8. Colin Bourke, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 6. Liam Messam (captain), 5. Culum Retallick, 4. Craig Clarke, 3. Nathan White, 2. Hika Elliot, 1. Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16. Vern Kamo, 17. James McGougan, 18. Kevin O’Neill, 19. Sione Lauaki, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Richard Kahui, 22. Jason HonaCheetahs:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Danwel Demas, 13. Corné Uys, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Naas Olivier, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. Barend Pieterse, 3. WP Nel, 2. Ryno Barnes, 1. Wian du Preez
Substitutes: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Nico Breedt, 19. Philip van der Walt, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Riaan Viljoen, 22. Robert Ebersohn