Accuracy key in Umlazi showdown

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:06

PRE-SEASON BUILD-UP: The Sharks and Cheetahs will go head-to-head in a double-header in Umlazi on Friday in what will be the first glimpse of either team's potential.

The Cheetahs sent a team of fringe players to take on the Stormers in Harare last week, while the Sharks will step out for their first pre-season action at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith admitted the focus will "change a bit" this week, after he fielded a host of players who have not played in more than six months in the outing in Harare.

"We will look to iron out some of the issues from last week, but our main focus will be to be more accurate," he told rugby365, when asked about the goals for this week.

He said because the ball will be slippery, as a result of the high humidity, concentration on getting the basics right will be key.

"We will also look to be more accurate in defence, even though it wasn't that bad against the Stormers," he said.

"We conceded a lot of turnovers and some players ran out of steam towards the end.

"That is why the focus will be to step up our defence and for players to get back into position as quickly as possible."

The two matches will allow both sides to run the bulk of their mains squads.

The Cheetahs have mixed it up slightly more, with the Sharks' A Team to be captained by Patrick Lambie, while Cheetahs captain Francois Venter is still sidelined with an injury.

Venter, who first injured his ankle during the Currie Cup season and aggravated it on the South Africa's year-end tour, underwent surgery in December.

He was expected to be sidelined for three months, which meant he would have missed the Currie Cup champions' first few Super Rugby games.

However, Cheetahs coach Franco Smith told rugby365 that he is making his return much sooner than anticipated.

It is unlikely, but possible, that his rapid recovered could see him being available for their opening match of the season – against the Lions in Bloemfontein on February 25.

The first match will be played in two halves of 30 minutes each, but the second match will be two halves of 40 minutes.

Due to the matches being a pre-season friendlies, there will be rolling substitutions.

Teams:

Match One

Sharks B-Team: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Johan Deysel, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Wian Vosloo, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 John-Hubert Meyer.
Replacements - from: Juan Schoeman, Gerhard Engelbrecht, Jean Droste, Khaya Majola, Jacques Vermeulen, Rowan Gouws, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Odwa Ndungane, Marius Louw, Tristan Blewett, Morné Joubert, Garth April.

Cheetahs B-Team: 15 Ryno Eksteen, 14 Juan-Philip Smith, 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Ruan van Rensburg, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: Zee Mkhabela, Reinach Venter and squad.

Date: Friday, February 3
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium, Umlazi
Kick-off 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Match Two

Sharks A-Team: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements - from: Juan Schoeman, Franco Marais, Lourens Adriaanse, Jean Droste, Hyron Andrews, Francois Kleinhans, Jacques Vermeulen, Lubabalo Mtembu, Cobus Reinach, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Sbu Nkosi, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Sibusiso Sithole, Clement Poitrenaud.

Cheetahs A-Team: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements - from: Squad

Date: Friday, February 3
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium, Umlazi
Kick-off 18.30 (16.30 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Picture: Steve Haag

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Waratahs 9 3 0 6 13
Reds 9 2 0 7 11
Force 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 8 1 1 6 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 9 9 0 0 41
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
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Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 10
Sunwolves 9 1 0 8 6
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Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 8 0 1 37
Sharks 9 6 1 2 28
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 20
Kings 9 3 0 6 15