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    Sharks 'know what to expect' from Cheetahs

    2017-03-24 19:02

    Cape Town - Saturday's Super Rugby clash between the Cheetahs and the Sharks in Bloemfontein is probably the biggest match of the weekend from a South African perspective.

    The Sharks were uninspiring in their 19-17 win over the Kings in Durban last weekend, while the Cheetahs are coming off the back of a 41-14 hammering at the hands of the Jaguares. 

    Both sides were disappointing, but both have also shown promise this season - the Cheetahs with a good win over the Bulls and the Sharks with triumphs away at the Brumbies and then at home against the Waratahs. 

    On paper, the Sharks might be slight favourites, but coach Robert du Preez believes that the Cheetahs are a dangerous side under the leadership of coach Franco Smith. 

    "They’re a very good team and they have their captain back in Francois Venter," Du Preez said.

    "They have assembled a very strong team. We know what to expect from them. They’re a side that loves to attack so from a defensive point of view we’re going to have to be very sharp.

    "Franco (Smith) is a very good coach and he has played for Free State for many years. That brand of rugby has been synonymous with the Cheetahs. He’s definitely made a huge difference since he’s been coach."

    The Sharks have had a week to reflect on their Kings performance, but they are ready to move on.

    "We weren’t happy with that performance, especially in front of a home crowd of 18 000 people. We’ve put that behind us now," said Du Preez.

    "We’ve had a good week and the guys are really energised and the practice sessions were short and sweet. We’re ready to go.

    "We’ve had such a fantastic pre-season and a lot of hard work has gone into that. We’ve had a good start to the season."

    Saturday's match kicks off at 17:15.

    Teams:

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche

    Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Rayno Benjamin/Clinton Swart

    Sharks

    15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

    Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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