Drotske keeps the faith
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:55
Centre Francois Venter has been appointed vice captain
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has not made any changes to his starting line-up for the Super Rugby clash with the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The Free State side started their campaign with a disappointing last-minute loss to the Lions at home last week, so Drotske will be expecting a big response from his charges.
The only change to the match-day squad that did duty against the Lions sees fullback Hennie Daniller take Ryno Benjamin's place on the replacements bench.
The Cheetahs coach said Daniller's inclusion is a tactical one as the hosts expect an aerial attack from the Pretoria-based side.
The visitors physical approach is the main reason why Drotské opted not to change the rest of his line up.
"We know that the Bulls are very physical and we are preparing for a huge battle. We expect them to try and put us under pressure with a lot of kicks and therefore we opted to bring Hennie Daniller in for this game," the Cheetahs coach said.
"He is by far the best under the high ball and his inclusion also gives us many options like switching Willie le Roux to wing if needed," he added.
Two Cheetahs stalwarts, props Coenie Oosthuizen and Trevor Nyakane, missed two days of practice in succession due to illness and a slight knee injury respectively, however Drotské was adamant that both would be ready to take on the Bulls come game day.
"Coenie has a bit of a virus and struggled with asthma after the Lions game. Trevor just has a slight niggle with regards to his knee. Both will play against the Bulls," he said.
"There are other slight niggles here and there, but nothing major to be concerned about."
The Cheetahs coach also announced that centre Francois Venter had been appointed vice captain, a role that stalwart Robert Ebersohn fulfilled before his move abroad to play club rugby for French outfit Montpelier.
"Vice captain is a role that Robert has taken for the last two or three years. With his departure we hand it over to Francois Venter," Drotské said.
"He proved against the Lions that he will be one of our regulars in the starting line up and he plays a vital role in making the calls for the backline moves."
Cheetahs: 15 Willem le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Hennie Daniller.
Date: Friday, February 21
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
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