Rugby

Cheetahs have flyhalf issues

2010-01-10 22:31
Naas Olivier (Gallo Images)
Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs’ flyhalf woes intensified at the weekend with the news that Naas Olivier may miss their opening Super14 match against the Bulls at Vodacom Park on 12 February.

Naka Drotské’s side had already heard last week that the Sharks would have no other option than to call on the services of Monty Dumond due to Ruan Pienaar and Juan Martin Hernandez being injured.

With Free State’s Currie Cup final flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter having joined the Bulls, Olivier had been viewed as first choice to give the Cheetahs direction at flyhalf.

“Naas can be sidelined for 4-6 weeks due to a knee injury. This means that he may miss the first game,” said coach Drotské.

While it will be a huge setback if Olivier cannot play against the Bulls, Drotské will still be able to pick from the experienced Louis Strydom, youngster Sias Ebersohn, the unpredictable True Blue Smit or even Riaan Viljoen.

However, Drotské had indicated earlier that he would utilise Viljoen as a flyhalf in emergencies only after he represented the Springboks as a fullback against Saracens and the Leicester Tigers at the end of last year.

Strydom has the experience and kicking boot, while Ebersohn is the best distributor in the Cheetahs’ enlarged training squad.

Smit joined the Cheetahs from the Leopards and was probably viewed as a contender for the Vodacom Cup team’s No 10 jersey.

Drotské is happy with his team’s preparations, in spite of the possible setback regarding Olivier.

“It’s definitely the best we have been conditioned for a Super14,” he said.

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