Smith back to lead Cheetahs

2011-02-23 18:04

Bloemfontein - They say one man does not necessarily make a team, but when it comes to the Cheetahs, things work a bit differently.

This is why, after they lost their opener against the Sharks in Durban, the Super Rugby clouds were hovering above Bloemfontein in a dark imposing fashion. All until today that is.

The return of captain Juan Smith to the starting line-up could not come at a better time for the Cheetahs, who have been struggling with a number of key injuries and face the defending champion Bulls in the key Friday night clash of Round two of the competition.

Smith may not be a superman, but in terms of the Cheetahs he is the talisman who inspires them to greater heights. With him they are a tough side to beat, without him a significant difference in leadership can be seen.

So there would have been a sigh of relief all across Central South Africa when Naka Drotske announced he would take up the captaincy again.

With stand-in skipper Adriaan Strauss injured, and the possibility of a young and inexperienced captain as replacement, Drotske won’t be the only one hoping Smith can weave his magic when the Bulls arrive.

Smith’s return is one of three changes to the team, as he replaces Phillip van der Walt on the side of the scrum and takes the captaincy back from Strauss. Ryno Barnes comes in for Strauss at hooker with veteran Skipper Badenhorst on the bench to cover the hooking position.

The other change comes at lock, where the Cheetahs pair are to face a baptism of fire against the Bok lock pairing of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha. Ex-Bull Wilhelm Steenkamp will line up alongside Waltie Vermeulen with Francois Uys dropping to the bench.

Steenkamp spent a few seasons studying under Matfield and Friday night will be his first chance to try and prove that the student can also become the master.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Naas Olivier 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.

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


  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-02-23 18:20

    Stormers suck!!!!!!!!!!!

      CliffBradley - 2011-02-23 19:24

      Still sucking Hey !!!

      Balsakhater - 2011-02-24 10:42

      YES - The Stormers is STILL sucking mot gif.

      CliffBradley - 2011-02-24 16:31

      Balsakhater: Hey idiot , no-one rattled your jukskei cage - I was referring to the one Prick who said that " STORMERS SUCK" 42 times last week , so shut TFU

      Pappa Smurf - 2011-02-24 19:18

      Cliff suck!!!!!!!!

  • BardofAvon - 2011-02-23 19:00

    Looking forward to a good contest Friday. All games in SA are home games for the Bullboks, so I am hoping for five points. Gonna be tough though. Cheetahs are deadly on their day.

  • evereadydude - 2011-02-24 08:06

    YAWN!!!!............Hierdie cheetahs sal nie eers hul eie vodacom span wen nie! Dis die patetieste cheetah span wat ek in jaaaaarrrrrree gesien het, Hennie Daniller die overratedste stut ini wereld wat heelagter speel. FFS speel vir Riaan viljoen wat flair het!!

      !!Cheetahs!! - 2011-02-24 09:55

      Jy maak my yawn. Hennie Daniller = stut ????

  • Kevin - 2011-02-24 10:04

    Another example of below par journalism, the "boertjie" is suddenly a "rooinek" Smit to Smith, thankfully he plays much better than this journo. hopefully he won't make such basic mistakes.

      Gerrie van Eeden - 2011-02-24 10:23

      Showing you ignorance, ey? He has always been SmitH...

      Kevin - 2011-02-24 10:30

      Oh shucks, my rugby playing days have been over for ages so I thought I would give the journo's some stick. I was wrong as Gerrie van Eeden pointed out, he is a Smith. We make a good team Gerrie, I mess up and you straighten the line. ;-D hee hee, "ek raak seker oud"

      Hein - 2011-02-24 10:32

      It has always been Juan SMITH, an apology to this journo will be appropriate.

      Gerrie van Eeden - 2011-02-24 10:32

      No worries mate, I must admit... I am also a journo, but not for the same publication!

      Kevin - 2011-02-24 10:38

      Ag Hein, ek is baie jammer boet ek vra om verskoning. I also just checked on wikipedia and Capt of the boks is John Smit, I would have put money on it that he was John Smith. Ek gaan nou soek vir 'n ander bye nes om my kop in te steek.

  • Hein - 2011-02-24 10:29

    GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bob - 2011-02-24 22:16

    Thought I might check out Pappa Smurf's intellect on other topics other than the one he ranted at me on - and what do I find? No intellect at ALL!! I do not like or support the Stormers generally - but try some decorum in your debate with others - some what??? Oh okay - how about some decent manors and clear thinking. Ooops! thinking - what is that? English, Afrikaans, Xhosa - do you express yourself decently in any language?

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