Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Christchurch - Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske
has changed his front row ahead of the crunch game on Saturday in
Christchurch against the Crusaders.
Kick-off is at 08:35.
Still on a high from their
victory over the Melbourne Rebels, Drotske made three changes to his
side to face the Crusaders, rewarding the efforts of flanker Justin
Downey and prop Trevor Nyakane in the victory and giving Lourens
Adriaanse a start in the game.
Downey replaces Davon
Raubenheimer, who isn’t in the 22-man squad, with no indication from the
Cheetahs if the move is tactical or injury-forced. The same goes for WP
Nel, who drops out of the squad while Coenie Oosthuizen moves onto the
But the front row move is an interesting one, especially
as the Crusaders struggled in their last outing against the Chiefs in
the setpiece, and will be keen to reintroduce some sanity into their
Normally the Crusaders would start as overwhelming
favourites, and all indications are that they will be anyway, given the
fact that the Cheetahs have never won in New Zealand, but after the
miracle of Melbourne, Drotske’s charges will be entering Christchurch
with a renewed sense of confidence.
For one, the Crusaders will
be playing for the first time at their new stadium and while Dan Carter
is set to return for the game, he may take some time to settle in after a
Coupled with the Cheetahs victory in the
corresponding fixture in Bloemfontein last year and it is clear why they
will fancy their chances against the New Zealand Super-franchise.
Downey’s impact on the game was impressive. Statistics show that in
just 16 minutes on the field he made eight tackles, many of them telling
in repelling the Rebels advance.
Interestingly though, Drotske
chooses to keep Ashley Johnson on the bench, hoping his impact in the
second half will be as telling.
Johnson’s ball carries were one
of the reasons why the Cheetahs managed to stay in the game, and in his
23 minutes on the park, he took the ball forward a massive 82 metres,
making two linebreaks in the process.
Piet van Zyl, the try-scoring hero in Melbourne, will start from the bench again behind Tewis de Bruyn.Teams:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Ryno Benjamin