The Lions vs Cheetahs cat fight on Saturday
January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
The fact that the GLRU and the FSRU have buried the hatchet doesn’t mean that the match between these traditional enemies won’t be a tough one, practice match or not. During the last few years Super Rugby seasons the regular season matches between the Lions and the Cheetahs tended to go to the home side.
For the Cheetahs this is clearly a pre-season “trial” match. With Naka Drotske resting some key players and others still out injured he not only wants to find his best back up players in certain positions but also his best replacements for the injured players.
Up front the Cheetahs will be missing Boks Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brussow, along with Andries Ferreira, Martin Muller, Phillip van der Walt and Pieter Labuschagne while amongst the backs Bok Johan Goosen, new recruit Johan Sadie, utility Willie Roux and Sevens Bok Rayno Benjamin will also sit out.
Although the Cheetahs are missing a number of key players they have still announced a formidable side to take on Johan Ackermann’s Golden Lions, who themselves are still testing combinations and giving new recruits the opportunity to show what they have.
Ackers has made noises in the media that indicate some large scale chances from the team that beat Russia last week and with centre Alwyn Hollenbach and flank Jaco Kriel back from injury they also should get a run. The Lions team will only be announced on Friday.
The match should be a close affair but I think the Cheetahs scrums are going to struggle against a Lions pack that has continued where they left off last year, even with all the new faces, and that was impressive against a strong Russian forward pack.
At the back the Lions will have to contain the youngster, Raymond Rhule, who made a great debut to senior rugby last year and will be looking at gaining higher honours this year.
Looking at the two teams I get the feeling that my SuperBru projection of the Cheetahs winning by 18 was too pessimistic and that the game will be a much closer match, even if it is just a practice match.
Whatever the match result it will give some indication of the competitive level of the current Lions squad.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (k), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Tertius Daniller, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Subs: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff