Injury-ravaged Cheetahs forced to change

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:32
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has been forced to make a number of changes to the side that will take on the Sunwolves in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Francois Uys come into the side at lock, in place of Reniel Hugo - who will sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Charles Marais will start as prop, replacing Retshegofaditswe Nche - who sustained a Grade One tear to his knee cartilage and will be sidelined for 10 to 14 days.

Springbok Uzair Cassiem (grade two knee ligament tear) will be sidelined for a month and has been replaced by Paul Schoeman - who will be starting at No.6.  Neill Jordaan will start at No.8.

Sevens Bok Ryno Benjamin moves to outside centre, replacing the injured Nico Lee (shoulder) - who may miss only this week's match.

Clinton Swart has recovered from his rib injury and will start alongside Benjamin in the revamped midfield.

Zee Mkhabela will be starting on right wing in Benjamin's place.

Tom Botha, Armandt Koster and Henco Venter, Ali Mgijima and Ruan van Rensburg are new on the bench.

Mgijima will be making his Super Rugby debut if he comes off the bench.

Despite the injuries, the Cheetahs will remain confident of beating the struggling Sunwolves at home.

The Japanese team started their season with an 17-83 loss to the Hurricanes, before losing 23-37 to the Kings in Singapore at the weekend.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith is confident they will overcome their injury woes.

"We knew from the start that injuries would be a part of it so we're going to just fight through it," he said.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Ryno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain) , 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg.

Date: Saturday, March 11
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 00.15, Sunday, March 12 Japan time)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28