Petersen blow for Cheetahs

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 14:17

INJURY UPDATE: The Cheetahs will be without the services of star wing Sergeal Petersen for at least the next month.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who spent a substantial portion of this week in Cape Town after being appointed as a Springbok assistant coach, confirmed that Petersen will be sidelined for four to six weeks with medial collateral ligament damage.

He suffered the injury in last Saturday's 25-28 loss to the Lions in the opening round of Super Rugby.

Seasoned Sevens Springbok Ryno Benjamin will come into the starting XV, to fill the void created by Petersen's injury, when the Cheetahs host the Bulls in Round Two in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Smith also confirmed that none of his previously injured players - including captain Francois Venter - will return this week.

Venter, who underwent ankle surgery in December after aggravating a previous injury on South Africa's year-end tour, is expected to return to action against Sunwolves in Bloemfontein on March 11.

Others not available this week include William Small-Smith (fractured hand), Michael van der Spuy (concussion) and Shaun Venter (hamstring injury).

Props Luan de Bruin (lumbar disc) and Erich de Jager (plantar fasciitis) will both miss the entire season with injuries.

Smith, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the Round Two encounter with the Bulls, said they have been working very hard on the breakdowns this week.

He felt that is one aspect that cost them against the Lions.

"We will also look to improve our confidence and build continuity with ball in hand," the Cheetahs coach said.

"We said from the outset that we will 'build an innings' in Super Rugby, just as we did in the Currie Cup.

"Only time on the pitch will improve that."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5