Veteran Ruan Pienaar to start Currie Cup semi-final against Bulls at flyhalf

Ruan Pienaar in action in the Currie Cup for the Free State Cheetahs

FILE - Ruan Pienaar in action in the Currie Cup for the Free State Cheetahs. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 16, 2023


Durban — Ruan Pienaar will be at flyhalf for the Free State Cheetahs’ in their Currie Cup semi-final against the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The former Springbok did not play in last week’s final-round clash between the Cheetahs and Bulls in Pretoria due to a family bereavement. He returns to the side at flyhalf because Siya Masuku has been ruled out of the semi-final due to a calf injury.

The rest of the starting lineup remains unchanged, while the bench only features one change as centre Evardi Boshoff replaces scrumhalf Zinedine Booysen.

Inside centre Reinhardt Fortuin will play his 50th match for the Cheetahs.

If the Cheetahs are to beat the Bulls, coach Hawies Fourie says their discipline must improve from last week’s game.

“The biggest issue last week was the number of penalties we conceded,” Fourie said. “We must be sharp and well-disciplined this week. There will always be penalties, and there will always be mistakes, but how we react to them will determine the outcome of the game.

“Last weekend, we conceded penalties and had to defend our tryline for our lives, which we did. That gave us a lot of confidence. I’m pretty sure the Bulls will devise plans to try and break our defence. This will be a new game, and we start from scratch.”

Cheetahs – 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Siba Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (c), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.

Subs: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Evardi Boshoff, 23 Robert Ebersohn.


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