Our second match this weekend takes us to Bloemfontein where the Cheetahs will host the Pumas on Saturday afternoon.
The Cheetahs has some point to proof with what has happened in the last couple of weeks, when SA Rugby announced that they are in discussions to have four South Africa side in an expanded PRO14 competition and the Cheetahs will not be part of that.
The Pumas and Griquas was added the to the Super Rugby and PRO14 sides to the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked and both sides will want to show that they are worthy to run with the four big franchises in South Africa.
The Cheetahs at home will go into the game as favorites but one never underestimate Jimmy Stonehouse and his Pumas side in any competition.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has some great players to call upon as they start their campaign this weekend in double World Cup winner Frans Steyn and the veteran Ruan Pienaar.
The Pumas also had some old hands that was included in their side. Willie Engelbrecht, Devon Williams and Ryan Nell will be vital for Stonehouse side to try and surprise the Cheetahs at home this weekend.
The Cheetahs have a well balanced side and with plenty of experience our money are on them to dominate the game.
At the start of the season we can expect the teams to go back to basics and it may not be the spectacle we want to see but history shows us that both these side like to give the ball air.
The battle will not necessary be won and loss with the big boys and counter attack rugby has been one of the strong points for both the Cheetahs and Pumas.
The Cheetahs playing the last couple of years in the North will give them the edge in the set pieces we believe and if the Pumas can not counter that, they may be in for a long day at the office.
The game kicks off on Saturday at 16:30 and will be live on SuperSport
Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (c), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Aidon Davis, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 William Small-Smith.
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Wayne van der Bank, 12 Ryan Nell (c), 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Liam Hendricks, 17 Simon Westraadt, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Jeandre Rudolph, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Neil Marais, 23 Ruwellyn Isbell, 24 HP van Schoor (standby), 25 Fiela Boshoff (standby).