In the absence of an official announcement on either of their official sites, I’m just going to make up the Cheetahs team for this weekend.
Well, not quite, but one of the guys over at Keo seems have got what looks like an official line-up from somewhere… Maybe he had his AM radio tuned to the correct frequency and managed to intercept the announcement in morse code. Who knows? Anyway, let’s assume this line-up is accurate and we’ll let y’all know if anything changes.
Drotske has gone for bulk up front, picking the less mobile, but stronger of the Strauss cousins, Adriaan, at hooker, between first-choice props Wian du Preez and Kobus Calldo. Barend Pieterse is at 4 and Rory Duncan at 5, although to my purist’s eye, they should ideally be the other way round. Then again, I’m not even six foot, so what do I know about locks anyway? Not surprisingly at all, the loose trio comprises Heinrich Brüssow at open-side, Kaptein Juan on the blindside and the promising Duanne Vermeulen at the back.
In the half-backs, Naka has picked his only real scrummie, Falie Oelschig (imagine learning to spell that as a kid!) and opted for the more direct option at pivot, ex-Bull Jacques-Louis Potgieter. Meyer Bosman will look to provide the creative spark one spot wider and the youngster JW Jonker is in the number 13 shirt.
The old guard of Eddie Fredericks and Gavin Passens are on the wing – a real triumph for transformation picking two coloured wingers! Another Cheetahs debutant, former Bolander Hennie Daniller comes in at 15.
There’s a 5-2 split on the bench, with Tobie Botes covering scrumhalf and Conrad Barnard everything else.
If this truly is the genuine team, then I guess it’s about the best one that they could have assembled given the squad they have available. Probably enough firepower there to deal with the Lions in Bloemfontein, but hardly the sort of outfit to give Robbie Deans any sleepless nights.
Non-official Cheetahs team, from www.keo.co.za:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Duanne Vermeulen, 7 Juan Smith (c), 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Rory Duncan, 4 Barend Pieterse, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Subs: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Bees Roux, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Darron Nell, 21 Tobie Botes, 22 Conrad Barnard.