Vodacom Super Rugby
Johnson adds power - Strauss
Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss believes Ashley Johnson will add some much needed muscle power at the rucks and breakdowns in their clash against the Lions on Saturday.
Loose forward Johnson was the only change to the starting line-up for their clash against the Lions here on Saturday.
The Springbok replaces Justin Downey, who shifts down to the bench.
Johnson was impressive when he came on against the Hurricanes last week, when the Cheetahs overturned a 32-11 deficit to eventually win 47-38.
"Ashley had a very good game against the Hurricanes and deserves his chance in the starting line up," said Strauss.
"He will definitely add some muscle power especially at the rucks and breakdowns. It is great that we have such depth in our squad."
The men from Bloemfontein impressed with their attacking play against the Hurricanes and resisted the urge to tamper too much with their winning outfit. Johnson's inclusion will beef up the Cheetahs forward pack even more, with Lions skipper Josh Strauss and flankers Derick Minnie and Cobus Grobbelaar sure test the ability of the home side's loose trio.
The Cheetahs made many errors against the team from Wellington, but despite giving away a lot of turnovers they flourished on the attack, an area they again hope to be consistent in against the Lions.
"We definitely want to keep that momentum going that we got from beating the Hurricanes. But we aren't kidding ourselves, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done," said Strauss.
"The victory against the Hurricanes was a very good stepping stone for us and the guys are confident, but we still need to go out there and get the job done."
The Cheetahs are motivated to give their home crowd something to cheer about and the game against a struggling Lions side is the perfect opportunity.
The visitors have managed only one victory in the competition so far.
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 Ashley Johnson, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 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 Justin Downey, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Butch James, 11 Andries Coetzee, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Lionel Mapoe, 22 James Kamana