Rassie keeps ‘em guessing

The Free State coach has only made five changes to the side that smashed the Valke by 78-8 last week, with new signing Hendrik Meyer keeping his place at centre.

Having reached the top of the log, it was suspected that Rassie Erasmus would be tempted to play a full strength team at Ellis Park in an attempt to solidify the Vodacom Cheetahs’ position. However, it seems that there are still a few experiments to be done and combinations to be tested.

Meyer and Alwyn Hollenbach, who both scored hat-tricks in Bloemfontein last Saturday, have been retained in the starting side to play the Lions on Friday night. JW Jonker comes back for Chris Kruger, while Bevin Fortuin replaces Gaffie du Toit, who doesn’t feature in the match 22.

Meyer Bosman keeps the No 10 jersey ahead of Willem de Waal, who returns after a week’s rest to the bench. Bosman’s new halfback partner is Michael Claasens, the same man who played inside him against the French in Paris last year.

In the forwards, Barend Pieterse returns to the second row after a week off, while Kabamba Floors is entrusted with only his third start at openside.

The front row of Ollie le Roux, Jaco du Toit and Jannie du Plessis enjoy an extended run together, as the Cheetahs maintain some consistency in their pack. This should ensure a solid platform from which to launch an attack through the backs.

Vodacom Cheetahs: 15. Bevin Fortuin, 14. Eddie Fredericks, 13. JW Jonker, 12. Hendrik Meyer, 11. Alwyn Hollenbach; 10. Meyer Bosman, 9. Michael Claassens; 8. Ryno van der Merwe, 7. Darron Nel, 6. Kabamba Floors, 5. Barend Pieterse, 4. Rory Duncan, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Jaco du Toit, 1. Ollie le Roux (c). Reserves: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. Corniel van Zyl, 19. Bian Vermaak, 20. Noel Oeslchig, 21. Willem de Waal, 22. Phillip Burger.