Cheetahs Host A Desperate Western Province

(Photo Credit: Jorina Raath/Speedshots.co.za)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and DHL Western Province will be equally desperate for victories when they take to the field at the Toyota Stadium.

Western Province, in particular, has their backs against the wall as a defeat will probably mark the end of their season, while the hosts will enter the match with a little more peace of mind knowing that a defeat with a bonus point could still see them finish in the top four. A victory, meanwhile, could nudge them to a home semi-final.

The Free Staters boast a better attack and defence going into the match having scored over 50 points more than the opposition and 21 points fewer conceded. They will also draw inspiration from the fact that they emerged victorious the last two matches between the teams in Bloemfontein.

DHL Western Province, however, won the last two outings between the sides in Cape Town, while they will also be fighting for survival, which will fuel their determination.

John Dobson (DHL Western Province coach) named all three of their returning Springboks, newly-capped Scarra Ntubeni (hooker), Wilco Louw (prop) and Dillyn Leyds (fullback) in their starting team, while another Springbok, Damian Willemse (flyhalf) returns, and Junior Springbok centre Rikus Pretorius will make his debut in the midfield.

Replacement hooker Chad Solomon faces a big milestone as he will earn his 50th DHL Western Province cap should he take to the field.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team is ready to give everything in Bloemfontein as they look to secure a place in the Currie Cup play-offs.

"We know that we need to produce a clinical performance on Saturday and it is a challenge that every single player has embraced this week.

"We are very excited about what this combination can do, with some talented players coming in this week and our focus is on making the most of that by being as accurate as possible," he said.

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs reshuffled their team with Darren Adonis (winger), Tian Schoeman (flyhalf), Abongile Nonkontwana (flanker), Sintu Manjesi (lock), Boan Venter (prop) and Joseph Dweba (hooker) all earning starts in a side that show six personnel changes and three positional switches.

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein. Kick-off: 17h15.

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Darren Adonis, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Tian Meyer (capt), 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjesi, 3 Boan Venter, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Schalk van der Merwe. Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Aranos Coetzee, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Dries Swanepoel /Dian Badenhorst, 22 Louis Fouche.

DHL Western Province – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 JD Schickerling, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie. Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Nama Xaba, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.