Cheetahs ring the changes for StormersComment on this story
Bloemfontein – Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske rang the changes to his side on Wednesday for their Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers at the Free State Stadium this weekend.
The Cheetahs got a hammering from the Bulls last week in Pretoria but avoided a whitewash with some good attacking play late in the second half.
Drotske was adamant there was still a lot on the line for his team ahead of Saturday's clash.
The home side need one more victory to conclude the Super Rugby season as their best yet.
“We still have much to play for,” Drotske said.
“We've won five games this year and will be looking for another victory to end the competition on a high.
“We will be going all out against the Stormers.”
Drotske said the side would also use the last two matches of their Super Rugby season as preparation for the Currie Cup.
“Of course the Currie Cup is also around the corner and we are looking to start building momentum towards that,” he said.
Drotske made five changes to his starting line-up to take on the Stormers.
He opted for Barry Geel instead of vice-captain Andries Strauss at centre, while wingers Cameron Jacobs and Nico Scheepers also come into the mix in place of Philip Snyman and Rocco Jansen.
Justin Downey replaces Ashley Johnson at eighthman, with the latter moving to the bench.
Johnson's shift comes after an average performance against the Bulls and he will be used as impact player, a role that has suited him well in the past.
Prop WP Nel comes in for Marcel van der Merwe, while Drotske decided to stick with Andries Ferreira at lock.
Win or lose, the Cheetahs mentor said he would be happy if his side played the full 80 minutes.
“We have to start playing the full 80 minutes,” Drotske said.
“It's something that's been plaguing us for the whole season.
“We got some momentum in the second half against the Bulls, but we need to learn to play the entire game. Hopefully we can do that against the Stormers.”
Cheetahs team: Willie le Roux, Nico Scheepers, Robert Ebersohn, Barry Geel, Cameron Jacobs, Riaan Smit, Pieter van Zyl, Justin Downey, Lappies Labuschagne, Heinrich Brüssow, Izak van der Westhuizen, Andries Ferreira, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Marcel van der Merwe, Waltie Vermeulen, Ashley Johnson, Tewis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn, Philip Snyman. – Sapa