Chiefs team for Cheetahs


The Chiefs have announced their team to play the Cheetahs in their first Investec Super Rugby home game at Waikato Stadium on Saturday night at 7.35pm.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made four changes to his starting line up.  Hooker Hika Elliot’s calf injury has recovered to see him take the reins off young hooker Rhys Marshall who moves to the bench.   Lock Michael Fitzgerald, halfback Augustine Pulu and winger Lelia Masaga all start with Craig Clarke, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Patrick Osborne moving into the reserves.

Chiefs’ coach Dave Rennie said “Out of all the South African sides the Cheetahs probably play a style that is closest to ours.  They are innovative and can score tries from anywhere around the park and like all South African sides they are big and physical.

“We had a really free flowing match against them in Bloemfontein last year, and we are expecting them to play a style of game similar to us, which is a free flowing, high paced, ruck and run game.”

Chiefs team:

  1. Pauliasi Manu
  2. Hika Elliot
  3. Ben Afeaki
  4. Michael Fitzgerald
  5. Brodie Retallick
  6. Liam Messam ©
  7. Sam Cane
  8. Fritz Lee
  9. Augustine Pulu
  10. Aaron Cruden
  11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma
  12. Bundee Aki
  13. Tim Nanai-Williams
  14. Lelia Masaga
  15. Gareth Anscombe
  16. Rhys Marshall
  17. Ben Tameifuna
  18. Craig Clarke
  19. Tanerau Latimer
  20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow
  21. Charlie Ngatai
  22. Patrick Osborne
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  1. Funny in the light of discussions around the Cheetahs lack of getting the stadium filled I thought their playing style, more so than Grey college, is in fact their trump card.

    The should rally everything around the fact that at the Cheetah stadium your chances of seeing a backline try is best than anywhere else, and contract those players who can make this happen.

    The winning will come…

  2. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 2:45 pm:

    JT its about utilizing your strength. Bulls play afrikaans music and have poppies dance. It a culture thing.

    Stormers have an ingrained live rugby watching culture which not even Bulls used to have. Whites and coloureds partake. In bloem and even PTA is the whiteys and Bloem dont have many of them. I bet if you take away all coloured WP supporters their stadium would also look barren some days.

    Rule nr 1 of marketing is finding your core strength as an organization unique to only you.

    Now that WP have surrendered the ‘flair’rugby tag, the cheetahs can market this as exclusively their own

  3. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 2:40 pm:

    I think the Cheetahs realized some years ago that they will always be a 10th placed team. That’s just the reality of the talent they can afford under the current system.

    So they decided to forget about trying to win and have some fun. Play with abandon. Take some risks. Play every game as if it’s an exhibition game.

    The approach has merits but the problem is that most fans don’t care much about exhibition games, even if it’s fun to watch the high-lights. Sport without competition is meaningless.

  4. So Cheetahs don’t have as much cash to throw round as the other teams?
    I assumed that but if that’s the case – no wonder they play the way they do ( besides having the name – Cheetahs).

    I think it was the former All Black coach Don Rumsfeld who said “As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

  5. laughawie: – When I brought up the money issue it was said that the franchises get the same amount of Superrugby money and that it was not an issue!?

    @Morne – what are the facts behind this?

  6. Remember when the Bulls struggled a few seasons ago (2008 I think?), anyway Loftus was definitely a lot emptier and getting more so with every game they lost.

    Most folks support winners, which is why the Bulls had the massive resurgance in fans once they started winning cups. I think it is only the Stormers / WP which managed to get people in the stadium even when they went through their trophy drought.

    If the Cheetahs start winning Super games regularly (no matter what rugby they play) the fans will come.