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Thursday, January 19, 2006


Super 14: Cheetahs to play inexperienced Force squad

Source: News24

Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs and the Western Force of Australia clash in Perth this weekend and will both be looking for a morale-boosting win in this warm-up ahead of a grueling Super 14 season.

The Western Force coach John Mitchell named a relatively inexperienced squad to take on the Bloemfontein-based team with 19 of the 27 players making their first appearance at this level.

Of the players with Super 12 experience only prop Angus Scott and locks John Welborn and David Pusey have more than 20 caps.

The match, to be played at the Subiaco Oval on Sunday, will go a long way in realizing which of these new franchises will last the pace in this competition.

The Cheetahs can boast four Springboks

The Cheetahs can boast four incumbent Springboks in their starting lineup with flyahlf Meyer Bosman, scrumhalf Michael Claasens, prop Os Durandt and flank Juan Smith all having represented their country last year.

Added to this the SA team boast Keith Lowen, a one-time All Black who has made 83 appearances for Waikato in New Zealand's NPC (domestic provincial competition) and 55 for the Chiefs in the Super 12.

The Cheetahs have an excellent opportunity this weekend to gain valuable experience against a fledgling team and could quite conceivably come home with an away win, boosting confidence ahead of a marathon away trip in the competition proper.

Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus, well known locally for his tactical acumen, will definitely come back with key information of securing a Super 14 win against the new Australian franchise.

The Western Force squad:

Richard Brown, Vitori Buatava, Pek Cowan, Scott Daruda, Tim Davidson (vc), Gavin Debartolo, Josh Fuimaono, Josh Graham, Gareth Hardy, James Hilgendorf, Matt Hodgson, Luke Holmes, Brock James, Tajhon Mailata, Tai McIsaac (c), David Te Moana, Pat O'Connor, Chris O'Young, Alexander Peden, David Pusey, Haig Sare, Angus Scott, Brett Stapleton, Ben Ward, John Welborn, AJ Whalley, Matt Windle.

We need to give these guys carrots to help build the confidence of the youngsters before the S14 starts.

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