Injuries rock Cheetahs

The Cheetahs’ semi-final victory against the Sharks was marred by injuries to three key players.

Flyhalf Willem de Waal, centre JW Jonker and wing Gavin Passons all left the field injured and could miss the final against the Bulls.

“They all have a 50/50 chance of playing next weekend,” said coach Rassie Erasmus. “Losing them today disrupted our backline quite a lot and that’s probably why we had such a tough second half.”

Erasmus has able replacements in Meyer Bosman, Gaffie du Toit and Eddie Fredericks, but will be hoping for as little disruption as possible to his starting XV.

The Cheetahs will meet the Bulls in a Currie Cup final for the third consecutive season, and Erasmus is expecting another brutal clash.

“The Bulls are firing at the right time and we won’t be able to relax against them [like we did in the second half today],” he said. “We haven’t really thought about what surprises we’ll have in store for them – the preparation will only start tomorrow [Sunday].”

Cheetahs captain Ollie le Roux said home ground advantage would play a major role next weekend.

“We’ll have a sea of orange flags here for the final, which will give us a huge boost,” he said. “It’s great to be in the final and we’re 80 minutes away from another Currie Cup title. This is what you play for … the chance to showcase your talents in a big game in front of the whole country.”

Meanwhile, Sharks captain Warren Britz was at a loss to explain his side’s eighth consecutive defeat to the Cheetahs.

“If I knew what was wrong, then we wouldn’t have lost today,” he said. “The Cheetahs are a very good, structured side. We were half asleep in the first half and to trail 24-0 was devastating.”