Naas Olivier could replace the injured Jacques-Louis Potgieter when the Cheetahs host the Crusaders this Saturday.
The Cheetahs flyhalf injured his hand in Saturday’s loss to the Chiefs and will be unavailable for the coming fixture in Bloemfontein. Naka Drotske will be forced to look outside the current squad for replacements if he is not going to push inside centre Meyer Bosman back to 10.
Bosman and former Stormers centre Corne Uys have formed a solid partnership in midfield. They frustrated the Sharks in the Cheetahs’ memorable victory two weeks ago, and also kept the Chiefs in check for the majority of Saturday’s game. It is understandable why Drotske and backline coach Hawies Fourie would want to stick with this centre-pairing for the coming match.
However, Olivier has not featured for the central franchise since joining Griquas in 2008, and bringing him into the mix for such a difficult game would be very risky. Olivier scored 42 points for Griquas in a Vodacom Cup game last weekend, but the two tournaments are chalk and cheese.
The Cheetahs are looking for a sound tactical kicker, but in a game that’s bound to be physical, Olivier would be the wrong option. Bosman is the better defender in the flyhalf channel, an avenue the Crusaders’ forwards are bound to head down this Saturday.
The Cheetahs are aiming to finish the competition with 20 log points and win three of their final four games. It’s going to be a virtually impossible task if Olivier is given the ultimate responsibility at flyhalf.