The good news is the probable return from injury of some stalwarts for the Free State Cheetahs.
Johan Goosen is reportedly ready to take the field agaist Griquas on Saturday 25 August in Kimberly. The probable return of Johan Goosen is a relief for Naka Drotske, as the bad news is that ace goal kicker Riaan Smit is out for between 6-8 weeks after injurying his elbow during his excellent kicking display against the Blue Bulls this past weekend. He is joined in the sick booth by Piet van Zyl who injured his shoulder and Boom Prinsloo who is out for 4 months.
The sublime news is that Heinrich Brüssow is set to return in the match against the table topping Sharks the following week in Durban. Also set for a return in the match against the Sharks is powerful front ranker Coenie Oosthuizen, and winger Rayno Benjamin.
The return of Johan Goosen, Coenie Oosthuizen, and Heinrich Brüssow is likely to be music to Springbok coach, Heyneke Meyer’s ears, as the Springboks sorely missed the specialist skillset of Brüssow at the breakdowns against the Pumas and against the All Blacks and Wallabies, that could be suicidal. So, I am sure Heyneke Meyer will watch the return of Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brüssow with particular interest.
Johan Goosen will hopefully not be rushed into the Springbok setup in the immediately foreseeable future, with Heyneke Meyer set to persist with Morné Steyn, after a much improved showing in the 1st Test match against The Pumas.
The net result of the injuries is that Naka Drotske’s side is very thin at looseforward with only Kabamba Floors, Frans Viljoen, Lappies Labuschagne and Davon Raubenheimer fit to play against the Griquas on the weekend. The loss of Piet van Zyl is offset by the sparkling form of Sarel Pretorius and with Johan Goosen due back plus the arguable return to form of Sias Ebersohn, it leaves the Free State Cheetahs looking pretty well-set in the backline, whilst the likely return, albeit briefly of Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brüssow, will add some valuable experience and depth to the Free State Cheetahs pack.