Cheetahs face jetlag, elements battle in Perth

rugby28 September 2023 07:00
By:Brenden Nel
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Tapiwa Mafura © Gallo Images

The Toyota Cheetahs will be battling the elements as they head to Perth for the first of two return encounters in the Toyota Challenge against the Western Force on Friday.

The team left on Tuesday en route via Dubai to Australia and the long flight, coupled with jetlag - something that hasn’t been a factor for teams since leaving Super Rugby - will need to be overcome before they look to press home the two game advantage after winning the opening two legs in Bloemfontein against a plucky Force team.

The games are set to be tougher in Perth, not only because of the conditions or jetlag, but also because the Force sent a younger squad to South Africa.

The Cheetahs will again be led by Victor Sekekete on Friday and have chosen close to their strongest available side for the clash, with Ruan Pienaar at flyhalf.

The loose trio of Friedl Olivier, Sibabalo Qoma and Gideon van der Merwe will be a key striking point while the experience of Robert Ebersohn in the midfield will also be important in handling the conditions.

The match kicks off at 1pm on Friday and will be live on SuperSport.

TOYOTA CHEETAHS TEAM V WESTERN FORCE: Tapiwa Mafura, Daniel Kasende, Robert Ebersohn, Reinhardt Fortuin, Cohen Jasper, Ruan Pienaar, Rewan Kruger, Friedl Olivier, Sibabalo Qoma, Gideon van der Merwe, Victor Sekekete (captain), Rynier Bernardo, Laurence Victor, Marnus van der Merwe, Schalk Ferreira.

REPLACEMENTS: Marko Janse van Rensburg, Alulutho Tshakweni, Hencus van Wyk, Carl Wegner, Daniel Maartens, Jeandré Rudolph, Raegan Oranje, George Lourens.