Chee­tahs wel­come back big guns

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - SPORT - MMASEKEPE MATSEBANE mmasekepem@the­newage.co.za

HAD it not been for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Guin­ness Pro 14, the Chee­tahs could have long con­firmed their spot in the Cur­rie Cup semi­fi­nals.

By the time the Pro 14 started, the Chee­tahs were top of the Cur­rie Cup stand­ings – but since then their do­mes­tic form has dipped af­ter miss­ing key play­ers due to their Euro­pean jour­ney.

The Chee­tahs had been a fear­less for­ma­tion in the Cur­rie Cup, beat­ing the Sharks, Western Prov­ince, Pu­mas, Blue Bulls and Golden Lions, los­ing just once to Gri­quas.

A things stand, the Chee­tahs are third on the log with 31 points and need a big per­for­mance against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg to­mor­row if they are to make the top four.

And thanks to their lucky stars, the Free State side has no Pro 14 re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the next two weeks, mean­ing they can se­lect their top guns for the clash.

With­out need­ing a sec­ond invitation, Chee­tahs coach Rory Dun­can and di­rec­tor of rugby Franco Smith se­lected a strong lineup that will be led by ex­pe­ri­enced cap­tain Torsten van Jaarsveld.

Top play­ers like Boks loose for­ward Oupa Mo­hoje and winger Ray­mond Rhule have been named in the start­ing team, while Maka­zole Mapimpi and Rosko Spec­man will be the play­ers to watch.

“This is an ex­tremely im­por­tant game for the Chee­tahs. We will be push­ing as hard as we can to get re­sults,” Dun­can said.

The race for the semis starts at 7pm tonight when the Blue Bulls host the Pu­mas at Lof­tus Vers­feld.

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

FANCY FOOT­WORK: Chee­tahs’ util­ity back Rosko Spec­man.

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