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Cheetahs 13, Sharks 25

UPDATE: Sharks take it by scoring 14 points in the last 9 minutes.
It is a Currie Cup game with history! Yes, the Free State Cheetahs have had the wood over the Sharks for the better part of the last decade.

Jan de Koning – Rugby365

The Cheetahs have won nine of their last 12 Currie Cup encounters with the Men from Durban. More importantly just one of those three Sharks victories in the last five years happened in Bloemfontein – a 21-12 triumph last year.

But wait, and as that famous TV advert says, there is more… The Cheetahs avenged that home loss by beating the table-topping Sharks in the semifinal in Durban.

It is thus not surprising to hear Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards predicting that it will be “one helluva match” on Saturday – especially with the Cheetahs keen to continue their excellent home form against the Durbanites.

Their home form aside, however, the Men from Bloemfontein showed they are still a major force in South Africa’s premier domestic competition when they stunned the defending champions Blue Bulls in Pretoria last week.

And, thus, the Sharks know it will take a very special effort to win in Bloemfontein, a place where triumphs are a rare commodity for visitors, with  saying that possession would be key.

Speaking to rugby365.com in the build-up to the ‘Battle of Bloem’, Reece-Edwards said possession would be key and, for that reason, the Sharks had focused on ball retention at training this week.

“That’s the area where we let ourselves down a bit,” he said about his team’s below-par outing in beating the Pumas 27-17 last weekend.

Reece-Edwards believes they need to be a lot more accurate if they want to be effective with the style of rugby they want to play.

“Given their result [a last-minute win over the Bulls] it is going to be a fantastic game,” he told rugby365.com, when asked about what they were expecting from the Cheetahs.

“They are certainly going to come out firing,” he said, adding that Bloem had not always been a happy hunting ground for his charges.

“It’s a venue where, in the past, the Sharks haven’t always produced,” he said of their solitary win in the Free State capital in the last five years.

“But we look at it in a different way and we are quite excited to go there and play.

“We want to get our game going and we want to play the way we know we can play. We are really looking forward to the game, but we have to cut out the mistakes and do the basics properly.”

The Sharks are well aware of the Cheetahs’ tenacity, which they displayed with their come-from-behind win against the Bulls last week.

“We’ll always respect them for that,” he said. “They’re a side that can produce on the day and wherever they go they are always determined to upset the opposition.

“We know we’re in for one helluva match,” added the former Bok No.15.

“If we want to be at the top end [of the table], we have to be able to go there and produce the goods away and not only at home.”

Most recent results:
2008: Free State Cheetahs won 31-9, Bloemfontein
2008: Sharks won 22-10, Durban
2009: Sharks won 21-12, Bloemfontein
2009: Sharks won 24-13, Durban
2009: Free State Cheetahs won 23-21, Durban (semifinal)

rugby365.com Prediction: The Sharks have become a bit of an enigma in recent years. At times they are sublime and some days they are simply awful. A lot will depend on which version of the Sharks pitches up in Bloemfontein. There is no doubt the Free State Cheetahs are a far better team when star Springbok flank Juan Smith plays. Just look at the difference in performances between the games against Western Province (Week One) and the Blue Bulls (Week Three). Their defence, the key last week, will again be a telling factor. It is a tough game to call, but the Cheetahs forwards look to have the edge – that combined with home ground advantage, makes them short-priced favourites. We will go with a Cheetahs win, by less than 10 points.

The teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corné Uys, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Juan Smith (captain),6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Meyer Bosman.

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanché (captain), 12 Patrick Lambie, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Steve Meyer, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Keegan Daniel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Patric Cilliers.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Eugene van Staden, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Andries Strauss.

Date: Saturday, July 31
Venue: Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Fakumile Yamile
TMO: JC Fortuin

Facebook Comments

17 Comments

  1. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    is Bladen gesuip?? :cuckoo:

    ReplyReply
  2. avatar

    Boertjie

    July 31, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Reply to JT @ 3:36 pm:

    Ek hoor Andy Capistagno,
    met so hier en daar ‘n stukkie
    Afrikaans as iemand kak aanjaag
    en knoppies druk.

    Cheetahs 10-3 HT

    ReplyReply
  3. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 3:52 pm:

    dan moet dit hy wees – praat net kak die heel tyd :noshake:

    ReplyReply
  4. avatar

    Boertjie

    July 31, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Reply to JT @ 3:53 pm:

    Ek hoor darem alles wat hy
    sê, anders as met die OZmob
    en Stransky.

    ReplyReply
  5. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Watching this game and looking back at what I saw of the 3N test this morning:

    AB’s and Aus try and avoid contact by moving the ball away from it.
    CC our guys try toe moer the oppo into submission while carrying the ball.

    :oogle:

    ReplyReply
  6. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Lambie breaks Cheetahs harts!

    ReplyReply
  7. avatar

    Boertjie

    July 31, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Reply to JT @ 4:33 pm:

    CC our guys try toe moer the oppo into submission while carrying the ball.
    ======
    :yeahright:

    If Snor wants to do a POC
    he can do worse than Johnson
    at 8.

    ReplyReply
  8. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 4:48 pm:

    thought the same – classy runner and hard worker.

    ReplyReply
  9. avatar

    JT

    July 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    did ruan injure himself?? looked long term shoulder… ulster will not be happy :whistling:

    ReplyReply
  10. avatar

    farjan

    July 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Reply to JT @ 4:33 pm:

    Yet okes are screaming to the high heavens as to why the Boks do not do this. This is a skill first learnt at CC and Super 14 level then simply carried over to test level.

    ReplyReply
  11. avatar

    Boertjie

    July 31, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Reply to JT @ 5:01 pm:

    More two headbumps I think.

    ReplyReply
  12. avatar

    bryce_in_oz

    August 1, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Juan Smith must surely be at the end of his career with another concussion!

    Extremely dangerous to be inflicting this on himself!

    ReplyReply
  13. avatar

    Brendon Shields

    August 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Juan is the past. Deysel is the future.

    well done sharks. Swing the thing wide with confidence and score the points.

    ReplyReply
  14. avatar

    Boertjie

    August 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Reply to Brendon Shields @ 9:35 pm:

    Ja, the Sharks suddenly
    remembered that in the
    last ten minutes.

    ReplyReply
  15. avatar

    bryce_in_oz

    August 2, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Reply to Brendon Shields @ 9:35 pm:

    Deysel is still limited… but his running on (with Alberts) showed the validity of playing ‘correct’ combinations…

    Juan the past… not a chance… only his constant concussions cloud my judgement over his selection…

    ReplyReply
  16. avatar

    bryce_in_oz

    August 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Watched parts of this game again… it’s astounding the amt of work the young TH prop Coenie Oosthuizen gets through…

    ReplyReply
  17. avatar

    WiLLem

    August 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Congrats to the SharksBrigade! Deserved Victory!

    It is after aLL a 85 minute game!

    Lambie wiLL be a gOOdie

    Hope he is the kick up the Arse the _ ” world’s best 13″ nEEds!

    ReplyReply

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