Dry spearheads new-look Cheetahs

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content on 31 Aug 2017 at 18:52
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Blitzbok Chris Dry will wear the number 7 jersey and captain a completely revamped Free State Cheetahs side against the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday, as the depth-challenged central union attempts to juggle the realities of simultaneously competing in two competitions.

Not boasting much of a squad at the best of times, the Cheetahs have sent their “best effort” to the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast to take on the might of Ulster in the Pro14, leaving Dry and a handful of other experienced players to compete in the Currie Cup. It’s a bit of a blow to the current title holders, whose top of the log position is sure to come under immense pressure over the coming weeks.

Dry is joined by two youngsters in the loose trio, although Junior Pokomela, of Kings Super Rugby fame, boasts a bit more experience than Jasper Wiese does. Prop Luan de Bruin and lock Dennis Visser boast Junior Springbok credentials, while the remainder of the tight five comprises young players who have mostly come through the Varsity Cup ranks with Shimlas.

A pair of young halfbacks, JP Smith and Ryno Eksteen, have been poached from the Bulls and Western Province respectively, with JW Jonker and Luther Obi providing a little experience in a back line that otherwise features only under 21 stars from Shimlas.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Reinhardt Erwee, 14 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Ryno Eksteen, 9 JP Smith, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Chris Dry (captain), 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Gert Kotze.
Relacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Andrew Kuhn, 18 Sibabalo Qoma, 19 Ntokoza Vidima, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Marco Mason.


  • Pretty much spot in Rib, except that Wiese has played some CC for is this year, and has made quite a statement with his performances. It is pretty much a Varsity Cup side with a sprinlking of old hands.
    Cheetahs really have nothing to lose here, so can just go and give it a full tilt!
    The pack can match the Sharks 8 in size, but not in experience.
    The Sharks should win comfortably,, but to underestimate a team witj nothing to lose can be dangerous. That is about our only hope! πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.08.17 19:20:25 by KingCheetah Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 1) : Imagine if this makes your second stringers become 1st string quality and your 1 stringers become real super rugby quality. You are only as good as your competition. It may yet be a good thing.

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.08.17 19:33:21 by coolfusion Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 2) : That is my view too! And earning TV revenue in Pounds will strengthen our bank balance too. This can only be a good thing in my view. Hopefully it will stop the poaching of our players, as they wont be as visible to the Super Rugby scouts! touchwood

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.08.17 19:53:51 by KingCheetah Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : yes Super rugby teams will see less of them but UK and France sides with the Β£ & € power will see a lot more of them!!! Anyway best of luck for both your teams especially the Pro14 team!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.08.17 21:07:29 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 4) : Thanks JD, I guess it is the nature of the beast. Rand sucks!!
    What about good luck for tomorrow? πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.09.17 07:20:10 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : Score prediction for tonight? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.09.17 08:37:34 by HeinF Reply

  • Sharks really do need to put this team away. Some good youngsters in there but in truth its a pretty average team even by CC standards. Would have loved to see this Sharks side play that team the Cheetahs have put out for the Pro14 game.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.09.17 08:59:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 6) : Going Cheetahs by a whisker….. I know, it’s a false hope that I can somehow rescue my faltering Superbru. In actual fact I think the Sharks will win by 40 plus.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.09.17 10:33:29 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 8) : Actually meant prediction for the Pro14. I actually give the cheetahs a big chance to cause a minor upset. They have been playing some good rugby and they should be full of energy tonight. Going to be a great game, definitely not going to miss it! Going to be wet (not too much rain predicted), but not too cold, so think the Cheetahs will cope okay with the conditions.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.09.17 11:40:25 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 9) : Oh sorry. I am confident of a win. They are taking a fair bit of momentum into the tournament, and a fair bit of consistency. The selection of Blommetjies at FH can go either way πŸ˜€
    The Ulsterman, haven’t had much game time together as yet, so may be a bit rusty, which counts in our favour.
    I have gone Cheetahs by 10, but a narrow win if at all is more realistic.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.09.17 11:59:42 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 10) : Im a bit worried about the lack of flyhalf cover in the team I see Blommetjies is starting there. Hopefully they continue their running rugby

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.09.17 12:21:26 by Dunx Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 10) : Pity you guys could not have gotten hold of Lionel Cronje for the Pro14. I also thought that the fact that Ulster’s season is only beginning will make a big difference. If the Cheetahs play with the confidence that they have had the last couple of weeks, they could score quite a few more tries than their opponents tonight

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.09.17 12:22:57 by HeinF Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 11) : Tis a problem for now! Fred Zeilinga should be back hopefully by end September, not sure what the situation is for Clinton swart and Neil Marais, but Petzer had a visa problem, so he should be available for selection against Munster next week.
    I hope so too. Blommetjies for all his faults is a very elusive runner, just hope he doesnt stifle the fluidity in attack.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.09.17 12:53:40 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 12) : Yes, Lionel was playing the. Best rugby of his career. Prior to leaving the Kings arguably the form 10 in SA

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.09.17 12:54:48 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 10) : As much as id like to see Cheetahs do well i think Ulster could take it cofirtably. Having said that the Ulster team are known to implode and lose games they really should win

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.09.17 13:07:21 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Sharks of the Pro 14 then? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.09.17 13:26:11 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 16) : They have enough ex sharks there to have taken the culture with them πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.09.17 13:39:00 by HeinF Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 16) : Actually yeh good comparison

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.09.17 13:42:02 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : read my comment did say both your teams but I’d be really passed off if the Sharks managed to lose against your “B-team”!!!! πŸ˜‰
    Hoping Cheetahs can beat Ulster but can’t see it happening in Ireland. That said coming to SA I think they have a real chance of beating them.

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.09.17 15:18:24 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 16) : not nice boet not nice at all!!! 😯 πŸ™
    True but not nice!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.09.17 15:19:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 19) : πŸ˜€ Much obliged.

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.09.17 16:29:45 by KingCheetah Reply

  • When is the kickoff?

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.09.17 17:51:30 by coolfusion Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 21) : Good luck with your team, bud! I have a soft spot for the Cheetahs. Can’t wait for this game.

    Stoked that it’s live on BBC 2 NI!

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.09.17 19:20:39 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Bills win one in a ridiculous free for all. Ugh. Crap rugby.

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.09.17 19:57:26 by coolfusion Reply

  • Looks like it’s going to be one of those weekends. Again.

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.09.17 19:58:29 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 23) : Ja. Looking forward to that game. Hopefully some entertainment.

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.09.17 19:59:29 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 23) : SS1 also showing the game, crappy no love scoreboard, but 15-14 Ulster 30 odd minutes, venter in sin bin

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.09.17 21:06:22 by jdolivier Reply

  • 22-14 Ulster, beautiful running line from the center Mcloskey

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.09.17 21:09:51 by jdolivier Reply

  • Try time Piatau, looked promising for the cheetahs in the first 20mins but after the yellow it’s been one way traffic. 3 Ulster tries in 7mins

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.09.17 21:11:37 by jdolivier Reply

  • 27-14 33mins

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.09.17 21:12:31 by jdolivier Reply

  • Really want the cheetahs to win this one and prove Superrugby is at a higher standard, but they need to remember that defence is part of the game

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.09.17 21:15:09 by jdolivier Reply

  • Some good play from a few Saffas. Too bad they’re all playing for Ulster. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.09.17 21:16:47 by McLovin Reply

  • Cheetahs have an attacking lineout on half way just before half time

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.09.17 21:17:35 by jdolivier Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 31) : Defense has been very soft. Too many Sharks in the Ulster side. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.09.17 21:17:47 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 32) : Freaking beautiful game too watch thus far

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.09.17 21:18:08 by jdolivier Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 32) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.09.17 21:18:28 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 34) : Not a single sharks missed tackle…… yet

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.09.17 21:19:02 by jdolivier Reply

  • 27-14 Ulster. Half time. Entertaining match

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.09.17 21:19:30 by jdolivier Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 35) : Cheetahs need to catch a wake up on defense.

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.09.17 21:22:46 by McLovin Reply

  • Why did Ulster ‘have to’ let Pienaar go, but they have about 17 Saffa forwards?

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.09.17 21:25:13 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 39) : Maybe they thought that northern hemisphere rugby was touch rules

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.09.17 21:26:52 by jdolivier Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 40) : I stand to be corrected, if the very confusing rules are to be believed, if a national player (entire UK) is fit to play and has a local understudy, then a limit is put on the amount of “import” players. Injuries and lack of depth overrule this.

  • Comment 42, posted at 01.09.17 21:28:54 by jdolivier Reply

  • Half Time

    Ackerman’s Gloucester 14 – 14 Exeter

  • Comment 43, posted at 01.09.17 21:31:36 by McLovin Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 42) : Thanks. Confusing indeed. πŸ™‚

  • Comment 44, posted at 01.09.17 21:32:40 by McLovin Reply

  • And a try by Ulster first minute of the 2nd half. Looks like it might be a long night for the cheetahs

  • Comment 45, posted at 01.09.17 21:34:31 by jdolivier Reply

  • Cheetahs going to cop a huge hiding if they keep going like they are. πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 46, posted at 01.09.17 21:34:58 by McLovin Reply

  • 32-14 Ulster 42 minutes

  • Comment 47, posted at 01.09.17 21:35:29 by jdolivier Reply

  • Cheetahs are totally rattled

  • Comment 48, posted at 01.09.17 21:36:21 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Cheetahs miss tackles and handling errors kind of remind me of a well loved Durban based team when they play shit opponents

  • Comment 49, posted at 01.09.17 21:36:43 by jdolivier Reply

  • Giving the Cheetahs 10 more minutes of my time. Life’s too short… πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 50, posted at 01.09.17 21:36:58 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 50) : You have to appreciate the gameplay from Ulster. Makes for good watching

  • Comment 51, posted at 01.09.17 21:37:54 by jdolivier Reply

  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 48) : Baptism of fire……..

  • Comment 52, posted at 01.09.17 21:39:39 by jdolivier Reply

  • Afrika 😎

  • Comment 53, posted at 01.09.17 21:43:53 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Great try by Petersen, of a Cecil Afrika break 32-19

  • Comment 54, posted at 01.09.17 21:43:54 by jdolivier Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 52) : Wouldn’t write them off just yet, though

  • Comment 55, posted at 01.09.17 21:44:42 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 55) : With the cheetahs, you do that at your own peril

  • Comment 56, posted at 01.09.17 21:45:27 by jdolivier Reply

  • Ag FFS Benjamin!

  • Comment 57, posted at 01.09.17 21:45:55 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Cheetahs impressing in equal measure with both their attacking play and ability to cock-up. πŸ™„

  • Comment 58, posted at 01.09.17 21:46:28 by McLovin Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 56) : We know that from XP πŸ˜€

  • Comment 59, posted at 01.09.17 21:46:35 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 58) : Whole squad seems to have the Earl Rose syndrome. Absolutely sublime and pathetically shite, all in the space of 5seconds

  • Comment 60, posted at 01.09.17 21:47:24 by jdolivier Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 58) : Jip. Frustraiting as hell!

  • Comment 61, posted at 01.09.17 21:47:54 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • 35-19 Ulster 55 minutes

  • Comment 62, posted at 01.09.17 21:50:59 by jdolivier Reply

  • Good night gents.

  • Comment 63, posted at 01.09.17 21:58:19 by jdolivier Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 63) : Cheerio.

  • Comment 64, posted at 01.09.17 21:59:00 by McLovin Reply

  • Pretty much a normal day at the office for the Cheetahs. They should feel right at home in the Pro14.

  • Comment 65, posted at 01.09.17 22:28:22 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • i feel for the cheetahs, they dont have a flyhalf at the moment. Blommetjies is a great fullback but not a flyhalf. cecil afrika played better in that channel.poor defense and they looked exhausted too.

  • Comment 66, posted at 02.09.17 07:27:28 by Dunx Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 66) : Totally agree. Should have started with Afrika and Blommetjies at fullback.

  • Comment 67, posted at 02.09.17 08:23:06 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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