Cheetahs get their captain back

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 12:33
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Cheetahs have been boosted by the return of Springbok centre Francois Venter for their Pro14 clash against the Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

Venter makes his return from injury and will also lead the side at Cardiff Arms Park.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Jaer will be making his Pro14 debut when he sets foot to field, while Paul Schoeman will be playing in his 50th match for the Cheetahs. 

The Cheetahs are third on the log in Conference A, trailing Munster by only three points. 

The Cheetahs have played in 13 matches so far of which they have won eight with a winning rate of 88 percent at home. The Cheetahs have a total of 51 tries and an overall winning rate of 62 percent. 

With eight (five away and three home) matches still to play before the play-offs, the Cheetahs are competing for a home play-off. Their only defeat in their last five Pro14 matches was 21-27 in Treviso on January 6. 

Although this will be the first Pro14 encounter for the two teams, they have previously met in a friendly match for the Sir George Grey Cub in 2012 in Bloemfontein.

Cardiff Blues have been boosted by the return of four Wales squad members for the clash.

Following four weeks of Challenge Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures, the Blues will continue their hunt for European qualification. 

Two of those released back from Wales' Six Nations camp are included in the starting line-up, as 12 changes are made from last week's Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to London Irish.

Seb Davies, who crossed the whitewash against the Exiles, is one of three players to retain their starting spot. The 21-year-old switches from No.8 to lock, partnering George Earle in the boiler room.

Ellis Jenkins returns to the openside, and combines with Macauley Cook and Nick Williams in the back row.

Gethin Jenkins will captain the side, and he is named in an experienced front row, alongside Matthew Rees and Anton Peikrishvili.

Owen Lane returns to the wing while Rey Lee-Lo and Garyn Smith are reunited in midfield, and Lloyd Williams links up with Jarrod Evans at halfback.

Teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Sibhale Maxwano, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Malcolm Jaer.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhun Williams, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Owen Lane, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Seb Davies, 4 George Earle, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Olly Robinson, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Dan Fish, 23 Ryan Edwards.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Rob Price (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

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PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 15 1 5 76
Munster 21 13 1 7 69
Cheetahs 21 12 0 9 63
Cardiff Blues 21 11 0 10 54
Ospreys 21 9 0 12 44
Connacht 21 7 0 14 39
Zebre 21 7 0 14 36
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 21 14 1 6 70
Scarlets 21 14 1 6 70
Edinburgh 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 12 2 7 62
Treviso 21 11 0 10 55
Dragons 21 2 2 17 20
Kings 21 1 0 20 11