CAPE TOWN - Last year, the Cheetahs won all of their games and ended their unbeaten season on a perfect note by lifting the Currie Cup trophy.
They won all eight of their round-robin matches and secured convincing wins in the playoffs, including home wins over the Lions in the semi-finals and the Bulls in the final.
And they haven’t lost a Currie Cup fixture at home since 2015. So Western Province won’t have it easy when they take on the defending champions who later in the season could be playing with a weaker side given that their best players will be campaigning in the Pro12 in Europe.
But don’t expect WP to be any less motivated to win their season opener.
While the Cheetahs got their title defence off to a great start with a six try, 47-12 victory over the Sharks, WP had a bye. For WP hooker Scarra Ntubeni will return to action off the bench after snapping his Achilles tendon last year, while fullback SP Marais, wing Seabelo Senatla and centre Dan Kriel will add significant Super Rugby experience.
Former Kings duo of Makazole Mapimpi and Malcolm Jaer could debut for the hosts.