Cheetahs looking for improved performance

rugby19 January 2024 13:03| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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Hawies Fourie © Gallo Images

Toyota Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie will be looking for an improved performance after his side’s defeat against Pau last weekend meant they need to beat another French side Oyonnax this Saturday to qualify for the round of 16.

Oyonnax haven’t been great and have lost all their games in the EPCR Challenge Cup this season, but the Cheetahs will still need to be a lot better than they were in Amsterdam last weekend.

“We made it more difficult for ourselves to qualify for the Round of 16 by losing last week’s game against Pau,” Fourie said ahead of the game.

“This week wasn’t easy as we couldn’t train until Thursday due to weather conditions and travelling. Still, the improvement from last week’s sessions was quite noticeable, and I think we will see the same on Saturday.”

The Cheetahs also have a couple of enforced changes they have to deal with.

Marnus van der Merwe will start with Louis van der Westhuizen providing cover on the bench at hooker while winger Daniel Kasende is back in the team. Last last weekend’s try scorer Munier Hartzenberg moves to the left wing, replacing the injured Cohen Jasper (ankle). Oupa Mohoje is new on the bench, and Abner van Reenen steps in for Ali Mgijima (HIA protocol).

“Ali (Mgijima) didn’t pass the head injury protocol, so he had to return home. Losing Ali is a big blow. He played well in all the games when he came on as a sub, especially last weekend against Pau.”

Van Reenen joined the team on Thursday in France.

Toyota Cheetahs: Tapiwa Mafura, Daniel Kasende, Evardi Boshoff, Reinhardt Fortuin, Munier Hartzenberg; George Lourens, Ruan Pienaar; Jeandre Rudolph, Friedle Olivier, Gideon van der Merwe, Victor Sekekete (captain), Rynier Bernardo, Aranos Coetzee, Marnus van der Merwe, Schalk Ferreira.

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Alulutho Tshakweni, Hencus van Wyk, Carl Wegner, Daniel Maartens, Oupa Mohoje, Rewan Kruger, Abner van Reenen