Sign-up for the latest, breaking news!


    Cheetahs count on Smith factor

    2011-02-24 20:58

    Johannesburg - The Cheetahs will be banking on the "Juan Smith factor" when they host the Bulls on Friday in what will be their first Vodacom Super Rugby match at home this year.

    Smith has been one of the most consistent players for both the Springboks and his provincial side in recent times and his presence is sure to lift the Free State squad after they failed to get their campaign off to a solid start.

    "Having Juan back always lifts the team as we all know that he is both a great leader and player," Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said on Thursday.

    Drotske spoke of a proud record his men have at home, but when taking into consideration that the Bulls have won their last 10 Super matches in the City of Roses, it might take more than one man to change their fortunes.

    In last year's contest, the Cheetahs got off to a perfect start, scoring in the opening minute of the game, but they were eventually beaten 34-51 as the Bulls staged a brilliant comeback.

    Having Smith back is a tremendous boost to the team, but it will be interesting to see just how much they will miss the presence of Adriaan Strauss in the front row.

    Strauss fractured his hand in last week's loss to the Sharks and will be out for at least six weeks.

    He has been replaced by Ryno Barnes with veteran Skipper Badenhorst moving in as cover on the bench.

    Earlier this week, Bulls captain Victor Matfield tried his best to down-play the intense rivalry which exists between the teams saying that there is no such thing as an easy match in the competition.

    "I must say Super Rugby is always tough, and I really don’t feel that derbies are harder than playing the Blues or playing the Crusaders," said Matfield.

    One of the traditional battles between these sides are the set-pieces and both coaches agree that a solid performance there will be crucial in securing the win.

    The Cheetahs were, however, found wanting at scrum-time against the Sharks, but Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was not blinded by this.

    "Every weekend’s game is on its own merit and this is a new challenge and they will regroup and pride themselves at scrum-time," said the Bulls mentor.

    "We also conceded a few penalties there (at the scrum) and want to step up to create a good platform to attack from."

    The lineouts should also provide a number of memorable moments and it will be a case of the student trying to show the master how its done.

    While Matfield is considered to be the best lineout-lock in the business, the Cheetahs' Wilhelm Steenkamp spent enough time under the Springbok leader's wing to know what he is in for.

    Both sides have some very competent kickers in their ranks, yet it remains to be seen how often kicks from hand will be directed at the touchline.

    The battle between the big ball carriers in this teams should also provide for some top-notch entertainment.

    Cheetahs v Bulls, Bloemfontein - 19:10


    15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Burger, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Ryno Benjamin, 10. Naas Olivier (vice-captain), 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Kabamba Floors, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Frans Viljoen, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Waltie Vermeulen, 3. WP Nel, 2. Rayno Barnes, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen

    Substitutes: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Kobus Calldo, 18. Francois Uys, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Riaan Viljoen

    15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jaco Pretorius, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Fourie du Preez, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield (captain), 4. Bakkies Botha, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Gurthro Steenkamp

    Substitutes: 16. Derick Kuun, 17. Rossouw de Klerk, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Danie Rossouw, 20. Ruan Snyman, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Stephan Dippenaar

    Read More On:  cheetahs super 15 juan smith

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    04 July 2015
    27 June 2015
    20 June 2015
    13 June 2015
    12 June 2015
    06 June 2015
    05 June 2015
    30 May 2015
    29 May 2015
    23 May 2015
    22 May 2015
    16 May 2015
    15 May 2015
    09 May 2015
    08 May 2015
    02 May 2015
    01 May 2015
    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015


    “Craig Joubert deserves plaudits for making a gutsy call against the home side in the Super Rugby semis, writes Herman Mostert.”

    Opinion Poll

    Super Rugby is a thing of the past. Next up: The Rugby Championship. Who will emerge victorious this season?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.