The Free State Cheetahs are relying on experienced flyhalf Chris Rossouw and the speedy wing Jongi Nokwe to inject some oomph into the backline as they return from injury.
Pieter Jordaan writes in Volksblad that the Cheetahs meet the Blue Bulls on Saturday and will be urgently looking for at least one Currie Cup league point.
Snapping away at the Cheetahs’ heels like barking dogs, Western Province are a threat to the Free Staters’ bid for a spot in the semifinals. A single league point against the Bulls could partly hamper Western Province’s chances.
The Cheetahs (32 points), with matches still remaining against the Bulls, Boland Cavaliers and Falcons, need 11 points in their last three games to wreck Western Province’s (27 points) chances of reaching the semis. While the Cheetahs haven’t been very convincing on attack in their last two matches, it won’t come as a surprise if they set their sights on a bonus point for four or more tries against the Bulls.
For that to happen, however, the Cheetahs’ backline will have to play with self-assurance and fluency.
The responsibility for launching attacks through effective and quick decision-making could well fall to flyhalf Rossouw and his halfback partner Tewis de Bruyn.
Nokwe will have the task of rounding off these movements by crossing the try line when he is on the field. The four tries he scored for the Springboks against Australia in Johannesburg recently will be exactly the number needed by the Cheetahs against the Bulls.
The Cheetahs’ physiotherapist, JP du Toit, confirmed on Monday that Rossouw and Nokwe are once again ready for action. The two players also took part in the training session.
Meyer Bosman (centre) did not participate in the training, as he was not well, while David de Villiers (lock) also watched from the sidelines, but both will be ready to take the field when the time comes.
Robert Ebersohn also looked ready for action after a light knee injury sustained against the Sharks.
Not likely to play again
Du Toit did, however, confirm the Cheetahs’ fears about the seriousness of scrumhalf Neil Powell’s injury. His arm was fractured, making his season something of the past.
It doesn’t look as though Fabian Juries (hamstring) is likely to play again in this year’s series. The pacy Jandré Blom practised with the Cheetahs and could be the replacement scrumhalf against the Bulls.
It should be interesting to see whether the Cheetahs’ coaching team will stick with Kabamba Floors and Eddie Fredericks as the wing pairing. JW Jonker, who played as a replacement centre against the Sharks, showed he is hungry to regain his place in the starting line-up, and his pace makes him a prospect on the wing.Tweet