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    Chiefs to up physicality against Cheetahs

    2017-04-14 17:44

    Cape Town - Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge has called for a more aggressive approach ahead of their clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

    The Chiefs made a few changes to the team that went down 34-26 to the Stormers at Newlands last weekend.

    Co-captain Sam Cane is fully recovered from the concussion he sustained in his side's game against the Bulls two weeks ago and will start at openside flank.

    Brayden Mitchell earns his first start at hooker, while Taleni Seu is promoted from the bench to join Brodie Retallick in the second row. Mitchell Brown returns to the starting XV to wear the No 6 jersey.

    In the backs, Anton Lienert-Brown shifts to inside centre, with Sam McNicol making his first start for the season in jersey No 13.

    Strawbrige cannot contain his excitement at the prospect of McNicol at outside centre.

    "We've always had him in our midfield frame," Strawbridge said of the 21-year-old who has missed the first part of the season with concussion before playing against the Stormers.

    "He's a very fast player, and he's quite a heady player, and we've been looking forward to him being right to get an opportunity there. He came on last week and his chop-tackling was particularly accurate, and he's going to give us a bit of an injection."

    The 52-year-old believes his side could have been more physical in the game against the Stormers last weekend.

    "We thought we were caught a little bit on the back foot last week, and we want to be a bit more aggressive," he said.

    "We're looking to freshen things up and to really speed this game up."

    He has also warned his side to guard against complacency against a Cheetahs side that will be looking to prove they are worthy of Super Rugby status having been one of the teams touted for the axe from the competition next year.

    "To be talked about in those terms is pretty confronting, and I can imagine that it would give you a good rallying point as a team," Strawbridge said.

    "And you want to prove people wrong, even if it’s only whispers.

    "We spoke in our group how we'd feel if that was the case with us, and it would certainly put the bristles up on the back of your neck, we'd want to be doing the best we possibly could.

    "So we're expecting the Cheetahs to be a handful."

    Saturday’s clash in Bloemfontein is scheduled for 15:05.

    Teams:

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche

    Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Junior Pokomela/Luther Obi, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga

    Chiefs

    15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Sam McNicol, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Taleni Seu, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Kane Hames

    Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Shaun Stevenson

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