Cheetahs hitting the panic button?

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:54
Large clayton blommetjies cheetahs back 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: There is a measure of desperation in the Free State Cheetahs' team selection, as they prepare for a Currie Cup Round 13 encounter with the Blue Bulls.

The Cheetahs host the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Friday - a curtain raiser to the Cheetahs' Pro 14 encounter with Scottish outfit Glasgow Rangers.

Friday's encounter comes on the back of just one win in their last four matches in South Africa's premier domestic competition.

The Cheetahs only Currie Cup win in September was a one-point (33-32) squeaker against the Pumas - with defeats to the Sharks (15-45), Western Province (14-57) and Griquas (24-59).

With only this week's encounter with the Bulls and next week's trip to Johannesburg to take on the Golden Lions, the Cheetahs need at least one win to secure their spot in the play-offs.

The backline changes see Jacobus Jonker come in on the right wing and for Vuyani Maqina, who moves to the left wing in place of Sevens star Cecil Afrika.

The forward pack has undergone more significant changes ahead of the arrival of the Bulls.

Nicolaas Immelman comes in as the No.7 flank, with captain Chris Dry move to No.6 in place of Daniel Maartens - who drops down to the replacement bench.

Luan de Bruin comes in at tighthead prop in place of Erich de Jager and Reinach Venter starts at hooker ahead of Joseph Dweba, who also drops down to the bench.

Clayton Blommetjies will be playing in his 50th Currie Cup match of his career.

Blommetjies played in 14 Currie Cup matches for the Blue Bulls.  Friday will be his 36th cap for the Cheetahs.

Jacobus Jonker will be running onto the field for his 100th Currie Cup match of his career.

He made his debut for the Free State Cheetahs in 2006 and played 53 Currie Cup matches. He also represented the Griffons, Pumas and Griquas in Currie Cup.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Jacobus Jonker, 13 Aliqhayiya Mgijima, 12 Lloyd Greeff, 11 Vuyani Maqina, 10 Robbie Petzer, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Nicolaas Immelman, 6 Chris Dry (captain), 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Johan Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Gunther Janse van Vuuren, 18 Andrew Kuhn, 19 Jeremy Jordaan, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Juan-Philip Smith, 22 Stephan Janse van Rensburg.

Date: Friday, October 6
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Darren Colby
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe

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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26