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CheetahsCheetahs coach Naka Drotskè is facing a possible second row crisis, as both his preferred starting locks are unavailable to start the season. Martin Muller who missed most of 2012, has injured his groin, and will be out for at least 3 months. That effectively rules him out for the bulk of the tournament. Andries Ferreira is still recovering from his knee injury, and will miss the opening match versus the Sharks, as well as the initial overseas leg.

This leaves coach Naka Drotskè with no option than to form a new locking combination. Currently the Cheetahs only have Ligtoring Landman, Francois Uys, Waltie Vermeulen, and the young Lood de Jager available to play lock. All four will be in the team for Saturday’s warm up match versus the Lions.


Toyota Cheetahs Team versus Lions:

15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (Captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet 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.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff.

It will be interesting to see how young Lood de Jager shapes, as he is relatively unknown. Another noteworthy shift is that of Robert Ebersohn who is shifting back to inside centre, where he played at school level. Other players who will be keen to make their mark are Hansie Graaff, and Torsten van Jaarsveld.

23 Responses to Super Rugby: Cheetahs suffer lock blow

  • 1

    Pretty strong Cheaters side here. It will give the young guns in the Lions side a good indication of what to expect from upcoming opposition.

  • 2

    Now the Cheetahs locks are even MORE average to horrible… shame

  • 3

    Well they are still better than what is left of the Bulls front row! I mean really, Morne Pellet and Kruger? OMW Wink

  • 4

    2 @ grootblousmile:
    Look, to be fair, they are more average than horrible.

  • 5

    3 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Werner Kruger……….he has a back strain and is out for a few weeks. They only have Mellett and isn’t he a bit of a walking yellow card………or is that Flippie…….or both?

  • 6

    flip is op sy beste n 60 min slot….die ander 20 sit hy in die boefblik.dan speel ek eerder n hele gsme met twee avarage slotte as 20 min sonder my een avarage slot.ek weet ou gbs kry nou weer n gemoeds bekakkkking omdat ek flip durf gemiddeld noem maar is hy regtig so goed as hy gem 20 min per game niks beteken nie

  • 7

    See half the Cheetahs team are rested for the game tonight. Jeez should have waited to see who was gonna start, have them to win on bru. Now thinking I should have put Lions for a win. Teaches me to put my picks in before I know who will be starting.

    So many top names missing in the Cheetahs side tonight, was hoping to see strength verses strength. Ag, never mind some rugby to watch and still looking forward to it.

    Lions my 2nd team.

    So… Go Lions! (Sorry C4E)

  • 9

    Lions have postponed naming their team until Friday morning when they will combine the press conference with the unveiling of A NEW SPONSOR.

    I wonder what all the doomsayers wil have to comment about that?

    There may be life left in the old horse yet!

  • 10

    I think this backline should have the edge on the Lions, with the Lions forwards the slightly better pack.

    Could be an entertaining game, but I expect a degree of rustiness from the ‘tahs.

    Lions by a handfull.

  • 12

    @ Scrumdown:
    Howdy Scrumdown, The Lions backs aren’t too shabby either. I think from the Cheetahs perspective it’s more about seeing what players like Torsten van Jaarsveld, Rossouw de Klerk, Lood de Jager, Daniller, and Graaff can offer.

    I reckon the coaches are pretty settled on most positions, with a few if’s and but’s to be sorted.

    I reckon the squad will look like this:
    Props: Caylib (LH), Coenie (TH) with Nyakane able to play both sides. So it’s now a toss up between de Klerk and Adriaanse for the final berth.
    Hooker: Strauss and Liebenberg should be favoured. Torsten and Barnes backup.
    Locks: Ferreira (injured) should make the group, but with Muller out, it will mean that Lood, Vermeulen, Landman and Uys will all make the final squad.
    Flanks: Brüssow, Schoeman, Viljoen, Lappies, vd Walt are almost certainties. So it depends on Juan’s fitness to determine who of Daniller, Raubenheimer or Prinsloo will fall away.
    SH: van Zyl and Pretorius
    FH: Goosen and probably Brummer, though I understand that Graaff is making his presence felt.
    Centre: Ebersohn, and Sadie are certainties. Haven’t seen Engelbrecht play, so Geel might have the inside track. So engelbrecht and JP will have to impress.
    Wings: Rhule, Benjamin and Jansen are a safe bet, then it depends on how Naka wants to use le Roux. If wing, he will nail down the 4th position. If not, then Boshoff should make the cut.
    Fullbacks: Daniller and then either Smit or le Roux

  • 13

    12 @ Cheetah4eva:
    The Lions are decidedly thin in the backline.

    At 9, if Bondisio gets injured they’re down to Ross Cronje. I rate him about as much as a bowl of Fritos that my daughter spilt water over.

    At 10, who do we have after Lionel Cronje? Boschoff isn’t exactly a proven entity, and after that what then?That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in me. Coetzee can also play 10, but seems to be preferred at 15.

    Centres are potentially a quagmire for the Lions. Hollenbach is injured, des Fountain seems to be a bit of a sicknote, and although the 2 youngsters that played last week didn’t do too badly, they have almost no experience. Admittedly, they maybe a couple for the future and are quite big strong units, but before the potential promotion / relegation games they have to really gain some WORTHWHILE experience.

    Wings is another position with little experience in the squad, and even should the journeyman van Rensburg return from injury, the past has shown that at best he barely makes the SR grade and is severly down on speed compared to his opposition.

    Fullback, Coetzee is proving to be a real gem, but still needs to improve some aspects of his game. Once again, after him, who is there?

    In the pack there are some experienced guys, but second row depth is a MASSIVE headache IMO.

    The line out has been a Lions weak spot for a few years now, and the cupboard is somewhat bear of SR quality players.

    Roodt and Mostert played OK last week, but again after them, who?

    I just hope that Ackermann usues this season wisely in developing a core of players capable of being COMPETETIVE in the 2014 edition of SR.

    The standard of games that have been organised for the Lions, whilst better than Vodacom Cup standard aren’t quite up to SR level IMO.

    Sure the likes of Samoa will be a decent test IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO BRING A FULL STRENGTH TEAM, and the French sides coming towards the end of the SR season should be a decent test provided they haven’t been decimated by a long European season full of injuries and fatique.

    However, IMO the greatest challenge that the Lions have in regards to their possible return to Super Rugby lies not in the team prearations and experience, but in the attitude and ineptitude of SARU.

    To the best of my knowledge the promotion / relegations games have not been confirmed by SARU as a fait accompli, and if I know SARU and their willingness to appease their political bosses and the Kings management, their is a very real possibilty that these games may not even materialise.

    The fact that the Lions have managed to attract some youngsters to Ellis PArk for this season, and a new additional sponsor to be announced tomorrow speaks volumes to the work that their management have put into this season.

    I would just throw the question out there, “Why wait until the disaster has happened before making plans to bolster the situation?”

    I hope that a very valuable lesson has been learnt.

  • 14

    update on Cheetahs team for Saturday:

    Veteran centre JP Nel will partner Robert Ebersohn in the Cheetahs midfield for Saturday’s pre-season warm-up game against the Lions in Johannesburg.

    Nel, a former Bulls’ centre who joined Griquas and the Cheetahs after a two-year stint in Japan, will get his first taste of Super Rugby since his last outing for the Bulls in the 2009 season.

    Cheetahs’ coach Naka Drotske has chosen to give Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss a rest after a packed 2012 season, and Ebersohn will take over the captaincy for Saturday’s outing.

    The coach also has some injury concerns, with locks Martin Muller (groin) and Andries Ferreira (knee) as well as flanker Heinrich Brussow (shoulder) still injured.

    Muller will be out for at least three months and is replaced by Francois Uys for the game against the Lions.

    He will partner Lodewyk de Jager to form the Cheetahs tight five, which is bolstered by Rossouw de Klerk, Torsten van Jaarsveld and Caylib Oosthuizen in the front row.

    In the backline, Drotske has maintained many of his stars of last year’s Currie Cup, with pace winger Raymond Rhule and Hennie Daniller (full-back) the most notable. Francois Brummer, who joined Griquas from the Bulls in 2012, gets his first run at fly-half.

    Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Johannes 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.
    Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff.

    Date: Saturday, January 26
    Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
    Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
    Referee: Tiaan Jonker

  • 15

    @ Scrumdown:
    Hmmm ok, I hear you. I thought Helberg performed pretty well out wide last year. Quick and strong.

    What happened to Whitely, he was a fine player last year too?

  • 16

    15 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Helberg didn’t play too badly. Defence just a little bit off but can develop.

    Whitely was drafted into the SA 7′s squad, so assume he’s still there.

    I rate him highly. He’s much quicker than he looks and always appears a bit “lomp”, but he usually gets over the advantage line and has surprisingly good acceleration and speed for a “big” man.

    I always got the feeling that JM would try to remould him into a second row, but with him now making it into the SA 7′s I guess that won’t happen.

  • 17

    15 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Just had a look at the SA 7′s thread and see that Whitely is included for the NZ and USA legs, so that’s him out as far as the Lions are concerned for a while. Pity.

  • 18

    @ Scrumdown:
    Agreed, liked him as a linking Teichman type eigthman. The Kriel youngster also has a good dose of mongrel in him. Betweemn him and Minnie, they can form a lethal loose forward combo. Willie Britz isn’t bad either. Remember him from the Shimlas Varsity Cup team.

  • 19


    aaah, so have they given up on getting any RUGBY trophies this year ALREADY? Amazed

  • 20

    18 @ Cheetah4eva:
    I believe Kriel is injured but expect him to make a good combination with Minnie. If Britz can make the 8th man role his own, and with Tecklengurg in the mix the loose trio seems not too bad.

    But the locks…. now that worries me.

    Anyway, let’s see what Saturday brings.

  • 21

    19 @ Ashley:
    At least they’re thinking out of the box (kick)!

  • 22

    scrumdown @ 21
    i’d rather hope they all bat without a box! Pondering

  • 23

    22 @ Ashley:
    No b@lls, no box necessary!


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