Cheetahs to shine in scrums
Johannesburg - The Cheetahs will produce a more solid performance in the scrums this week, with a strengthened arsenal up front, according to assistant coach Hawies Fourie.
Head coach Naka Drotske included stalwarts Coenie Oosthuizen and WP Nel, both returning from injury, in the Cheetahs' starting line-up for their Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Wellington this weekend.
The tourists almost caused an upset against the Crusaders in Christchurch last week, going down 28-21, but they were ultimately outplayed in the scrums.
"The Crusaders had a point to prove against us and they did," Fourie said.
"We made it difficult for ourselves at the scrums, but with Coenie and WP back it will definitely be another story.
"The players took what happened on the chin and worked hard this week to rectify all that went wrong.
"Our guys had a good week with scrum doctor Os du Randt and are ready for whatever the Hurricanes will throw at us."
The Cheetahs have had mixed success on their overseas tour, losing narrowly to the Brumbies and picking up a win against the Rebels, and Fourie said the pressure was on to end their Australasian outing on a high.
"We know there is a lot of pressure on us to perform well against the Hurricanes," he said.
"We played well against the Crusaders even though we didn't get the victory, so the confidence is there.
"The Hurricanes are a different team and will really challenge us on defence.
"They are especially dangerous from their counter attacks, so we aren't underestimating them at all."
Drotske also included scrumhalf Piet van Zyl in the run-on XV for Saturday's game, with Tewis de Bruyn dropping to the bench.
Winger Rayno Benjamin was included in place of Cameron Jacobs, who dropped out altogether, and replacement centre Philip Snyman was recalled to the bench.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman