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Match Preview – Lions v Cheetahs

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There are two big ones this weekend and the first one sees Lions hosting the unbeaten Cheetahs on Saturday in Johannesburg.

With two losses from their first two rounds they will want to bounce back this week at home against the Cheetahs.

They will unfortunately have to do this without their inspirational captain, Elton Jantjies, who has been ruled out due to a calf injury. Jantjies have been one of the standout players in the Lions side so far.

His place will be taken by Gianni Lombard who will start the game at flyhalf with Dan Kriel that will lead the side.

Simelane is also back in the midfield and he will partner with Kriel on Saturday. In the only change in the pack, MJ Pelser gets the nod at six.

There are some new faces on the bench for the Lions in PJ Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Nathan McBeth, Marnus Schoeman, Stean Pienaar and Tiaan Swanepoel.

After a tight game against the Bulls last week at home the defending Currie Cup champions will want to keep the momentum they build from the first two weeks.

It is not going to be easy as they will also be without their captain Ruan Pienaar.

Tian Meyer will take Pienaar’s number nine jumper with Junior Pokomela who will take over the captaincy from Pienaar.

USA international Ruben Haas will make his Super Rugby debut from the bench for the Cheetahs. Haas played for the USA in last year World Cup in Japan.

Coach Hawies Fourie made changes due to the knee injury of Ruan Pienaar, Junior Pokomela will take over the Captaincy for the competition and Tian Meyer will replace Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf.

Prediction: On form the Cheetahs should take this one but the Lions and Cheetahs has lost their captains and play makers in in their teams. Lions at home may just surprise so we going Lions by 7

Teams:

Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, (c) 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Stean Pienaar, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela (c), 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Chris Massyn, 22 Ruben de Haas, 23 William Small-Smith

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