The Toyota Cheetahs return to action for the first time in three weeks on Friday evening when they play the Cell C Sharks in a round five Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked match in Durban.
Kick-off is set for 19h00 and this match, as well as the two matches on Saturday, will be televised live the SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand channels.
The back-to-back encounters scheduled for Saturday are in Kimberley, where Tafel Lager Griquas host the DHL Stormers from 16h30, and Johannesburg, for an eagerly anticipated Jukskei Derby between the Emirates Lions and the Vodacom Bulls (19h00).
Interestingly, two players are set to make their 100th appearance for their teams on Saturday in Kimberley – Tafel Lager Griquas right wing Ederies Arendse and the DHL Stormers’ Rugby World Cup winning Springbok loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff.
Venter leads Cell C Sharks in place of injured Am
Henco Venter will lead a relatively unchanged Cell C Sharks side in their clash with the Toyota Cheetahs at Jonsson Kings Park on Friday evening (19h00).
With regular captain Lukhanyo Am unavailable for selection due to a hand injury that will see him out for approximately four weeks, Venter (flanker) will take over the captaincy for this match against his former team, as the Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt looks to keep intact a winning group.
Hawies Fourie (coach) has made some minor tweaks to his Toyota Cheetahs match squad for their trip to Durban.
Amongst the Toyota Cheetahs’ backs, William Small-Smith comes back into the midfield at outside centre in place of Benhard Janse van Rensburg.
In the forward pack, Aidon Davis is entrusted with the No 8 duties following the departure of Jasper Wiese to English side Leicester Tigers.
Welcome news for the Free Staters is the inclusion on the bench of Springbok loose forward Oupa Mohoje for what could be his first competitive match in more than two years on the sideline due to injury problems.
Prediction: Toyota Cheetahs by six.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter (captain), 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Werner Kok.
Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Junior Pokomela (captain), 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais. Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Jeandré Rudolph, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Chris Smit.
Match information – Cell C Sharks v Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Friday, 6 November 2020
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Paul Mente
Television Match Official: Marius Jonker
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand
Arendse raises his bat for Tafel Lager Griquas
Ederies Arendse will make his 100th appearance for Tafel Lager Griquas in Saturday afternoon’s Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked match against the DHL Stormers in Kimberley (16h30).
Former Junior Springbok flyhalf Tinus de Beer is drafted into the starting line-up in swap with regular skipper George Whitehead, who will now play off the bench after starting in all previous games. Zak Burger (scrumhalf) takes over the captaincy duties from Whitehead.
Former Springbok wing Bjorn Basson – who started his senior career in Kimberley more than a decade ago – is back in the No 11 jersey and the only change in the starting pack is at loosehead prop, where Mox Mxoli gets the starting nod over Andrew Beerwinkel, who moves to the bench.
Meanwhile Steven Kitshoff will also earn his 100th DHL Stormers cap in Kimberley on Saturday. The powerful loosehead prop, who made his debut as a 19-year-old against the Chiefs in Hamilton in 2011, will lead the DHL Stormers out at Tafel Lager Park.
There are three changes to the forward pack and two in the backline for the DHL Stormers’ first-ever match against Tafel Lager Griquas.
Neethling Fouche (tighthead prop), David Meihuizen (lock) and Marcel Theunissen (flanker) come into the starting line-up, while Blitzbok speedster Angelo Davids (wing) will make his DHL Stormers debut and Paul de Wet steps in for Herschel Jantjies at scrumhalf, who misses the match on compassionate grounds.
DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson paid tribute to Kitshoff who has been a stalwart for the DHL Stormers over the years.
“Steven is the ultimate professional and it is wonderful that he joins his old friends Siya Kolisi and Frans Malherbe as DHL Stormers centurions,” said Dobson.
Prediction: DHL Stormers by nine.
Tafel Lager Griquas: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Eduan Keyter, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Carl Els, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Adré Smith, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Hendrik Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli. Replacements (from): Monde Hadebe, Andrew Beerwinkel, Madot Mabokela, Johan Momsen, Ewan Coetzee, Theo Maree, George Whitehead, Harlon Klaasen, Bandisa Ndlovu, Cameron Lindsay, Dan Kasende.
DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Sazi Sandi, 20 Salmaan Moerat, 21 Chris van Zyl, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Michal Hazner, 26 Ruhan Nel.
Match information – Tafel Lager Griquas vs DHL Stormers
Date: Saturday, 7 November
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Griffin Colby
Television Match Official: Aimee Barrett-Theron
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand
Odendaal back in the fray against former team
The experienced Burger Odendaal is back and will partner the exciting Wandisile Simelane in the midfield in the only change to the Emirates Lions side to face log leaders the Vodacom Bulls in their derby at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday evening. The Jukskei River derby starts at 19h00.
Odendaal, a former Vodacom Bulls captain, resumes his promising midfield combination with Simelane, who is one of competition’s form players at the moment. That means Dan Kriel moves to the bench to make way for Odendaal in the midfield.
The match is poised for an exciting contest between the two Gauteng neighbours. Last weekend, the Pride of Jozi won their first match of the competition, with Simelane and Elton Jantjies outstanding on the night.
The Vodacom Bulls, on the other hand, continued with their recent good form by outplaying the DHL Stormers by 39-6 in a dramatic encounter at Loftus where the threat of a dangerous thunderstorm brought an end the game in the second half.
Walt Steenkamp has been named at lock and will make his debut for the Vodacom Bulls when they travel to Johannesburg to face the Emirates Lions, in the only change to their team that put in a great performance last weekend against the DHL Stormers in Pretoria.
“The players have done well in correcting the ship after a slow start against Griquas and the Cheetahs, which is testament to their desire to go the whole nine yards and secure silverware,” said Jake White, the Vodacom Bulls’ Director of Rugby.
Prediction: Vodacom Bulls by 10.
Emirates Lions: 15 Gianni Lombard; 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg; 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Vodacom Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Match information – Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls
Date: Saturday 7 November
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Egon Seconds
Television Match Official: Marius van der Westhuizen
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand