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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Super 14: Silverfern rates the Cheetahs

Article by True Blue

The Cheetahs were the rugby choice, as opposed to the Spears (the political Choice) for the 5th Super 14 franchise and immediately supported their right to S14 membership by winning the 2005 Currie Cup, beating the mighty Bulls in an epic clash at Loftus Versveld.

Coached by former Bok flanker Ras Erasmus, the Free State has been a breeding ground for precocious young rugby talent of all races since the first Voortrekker wagon crossed the Orange River 250 years ago. Until now, however, that talent has slipped away to other franchises in wealthier areas of the country. Now, as CC champs and with S14 opportunities the Free State Cheetahs are desperate to make their mark on the Trans-national rugby scene.


This is the Cheetah's first S14 season under their own steam, as previously they were rolled into the Cats, an unsatisfactory arrangement for both teams concerned. Erasmus has contracted two overseas players, Leota and Lowen for the sake of experience and mentoring of his young guns that are already showing tremendous promise.

Guys like flyjhalf Meyer Bosman and future Bok fullback Bevan Fortuin will benefit immensly from having the massive presence and cool heads of the Kiwi and the Samoan on board.


The Cheetahs are to some extend an unknown quantity, but there are some aspects to their set-up that indicate that we may see some good things from this franchise in S14 2006.

Juan Smith is a world-class loose forward and is well supported by the likes of Ryno van der Merwe. The Cheetahs tight five is formidable, and a front row of Os du Randt, Trevor Leota and CJ van der Linde, with Ollie le Roux and Jannie du Plessis off the bench is nothing short of terrifying.

Willem de Waal is a useful flyhalf, but it is Meyer Bosman who is likely to get the game time. he is very young, and the jury is stil out on him. In Oelshig and Claasens, the talent and experience is there at scrumhalf.

Lowen wil be intersting to watch at center but a real coup for Free State was the signing of Ronnie Cooke, a tremendously talented youngster...lets see how much game time Rassie gives him.

One of the true strengths of the team is the coach, Rassie Erasmus, who is as wily as they come and has passion to burn. he will have his charges fired up for every match that they play. Saturdays game against the Farce will be a good yardstick for them.


Question marks hang over the halfbacks and to an extend over the midfield. Can this team use the quality phase ball that they will be getting to put more experienced sides to the sword?


Lovely draw, starting with the Bulls at home, and then a procession of the weaker Kiwi and Convict teams giving them the opportunity to go on the road with points in the bank.


Do they have what it takes to turn CC success into S14 glory?

Look out for

Ronnie Cooke, Bevan Fortuin and Meyer Bosman.


The Cheetahs will deliver in their honeymoon year and will be the giant-killers of the tournament as the bigger franchises seek to rest their stars against the less experienced new-comers and get their asses handed to them for their troubles. 6th.
Is there a story?

I just get an intro?
Who wrote this?

It's damn well informed.

Very nice read.
Oranje Orakel will enlarge this and frame it on his wall :-)

Gee, I've always admired the Free State teams for their successes with such limited resources, and being milked by the other provinces year after year.
I really hope they do well.
Howzit All

Yip this is Not the worst article on Ruggaworld ever!

Guess I will do some copy & pasting of my own- will mention Donners input though.

On the article- agreed with most- I just do not think that anyone is really underestimating us any more

The pack did not dominate the Force as the writer seems to predict- but the three names that will be SANZAR household after 2006 Super 14, alongside those mentioned is Alwyn Hollenbach, Barend Pieterse & Kabamba Floors
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