LIVE

    Super Rugby preview: Cheetahs

    2017-02-20 15:08

    Cape Town - Can Currie Cup form translate into Super Rugby success? 

    Judging by the Lions' display in 2016, it can. Johan Ackermann's men had cruised to the Currie Cup title in 2015 and then progressed to the Super Rugby final last year. 

    Can the Cheetahs replicate that in 2017? They went unbeaten through last year's Currie Cup and are certainly on a high. 

    The Free Staters have not delivered in Super Rugby since they made the playoffs back in 2013. 

    They won just four of their 15 matches with defence once again their biggest problem. Things will be even tougher this year, fixture-wise, as the Cheetahs must tackle the Kiwi sides in regular season. 

    They have lost Lood de Jager to the Bulls, but other than that they have held onto most of their bigger names. 

    KEY PLAYER

    It would be easy to go with captain Francois Venter, while prop Ox Nche is another big player. But, for us, the Cheetas need somebody to do the hard yards up front on both attack and defence; a workhorse who provides a physicality that can turn this Cheetahs pack into a real threat. That man is Oupa Mohoje. It was a big Springbok year for the loose forward and he will be as motivated as ever to prove that he belongs in the green and gold. With his heavy hits and strong running, Mohoje could easily be the Cheetahs' most important player this year.

    MAJOR SIGNING

    Not much to talk about here. The Cheetahs have bolstered their flyhalf department with the arrivals of Ryno Elsteen and Clinton Swart while prop Tom Botha joins from the Kings. That has been the only incoming activity so far. 

    MAJOR LOSS

    De Jager, obviously. He has been a key man at the Cheetahs since 2013 but he needed a fresh challenge and the Bulls are better off for it. 

    FIXTURES

    February 25: Lions (h)
    March 4: Bulls (h)
    March 11: Sunwolves (h)
    March 18: Jaguares (a)
    March 25: Sharks (h)
    April 1: Stormers (a)
    April 8: BYE
    April 15: Chiefs (h)
    April 22: Bulls (a)
    April 29: Crusaders (h)
    May 5: Highlanders (h)
    May 12: Blues (a)
    May 20: Hurricanes (a)
    May 27: Sunwolves (a)
    INTERNATIONAL BREAK
    July 1: Stormers (h)
    July 8: BYE
    July 14: Kings (a)

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Results

    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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