Sarel starts; Brussow on the bench

RICHARD FERGUSON reports that Sarel Pretorius is the preferred No 9 as the Cheetahs starting line-up remains the same.

That means a return on the bench for Heinrich Brussow, who replaces Boom Prinsloo in the match 22 as the only change to the match squad hammered in Hamilton.

The decision to retain Pretorius ahead of van Zyl must have been a difficult selection. Pretorius was fantastic off the bench against the Sharks, but failed to have an impact from the start of the match against the Chiefs. The use of Pretorius as an impact player should be a consideration for coach Naka Drotske.

As for Brussow, he will be happy to be back on the rugby field after four months on the sidelines. The decision to play him off the bench hinders Brussow’s ability to calmly get into the match at the start, and will instead have to make an impact from the moment he comes on as a reserve.

The Cheetahs are looking for an improved performance against the Highlanders. Johan Goosen in particular would have worked on his goal kicking. The backline should also look at adopting a direct running approach, rather than the sideways movement they tried against the Chiefs.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane. Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin