Unbeaten Toyota Cheetahs Are Waiting For DHL Western Province In Bloemfontein


The high-flying Toyota Cheetahs’ are in action against DHL Western Province in Bloemfontein @17h45 this afternoon.

Only three points separate the top three sides on the league table at the moment, the Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks both have 18 points from their four wins, while the team from Pretoria has 15 points. DHL Western Province sits in fifth place with 6 log points.

With their two experienced Springboks, Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar, both influential figures so far in their previous four matches, the Toyota Cheetahs must be regarded as favourites for their home game against DHL WP, who are currently fifth on the log with one win from their four encounters.

The two teams managed to win a game apiece during last year’s regular fixtures, the Toyota Cheetahs took the spoils 38-21 in Bloemfontein, while DHL WP edged the white jerseys 40-39 in a thriller in Cape Town.

While the Free Staters have managed to win all four of their 2022 matches to date, including a hugely significant away win over the Vodacom Bulls, the Cape Town side could only manage to beat the last-placed Sigma Lions for their only win in four games.

Toyota Cheetahs' head coach Hawies Fourie named a strong team with a couple of changes.

“Evardi Boshoff comes in for Robert Ebersohn at outside centre. I decided to give all three of them a chance. David Brits had his game time in the first two or three games of the competition, Robert played against the Lions and Evardi will play against Western Province. All three of them are quality players and hard workers,” said Coach Hawies Fourie

“Ockie Barnard comes in at lock for the injured Aidon Davis. Aranos Coetzee returns from injury and he comes into the starting line-up as tight head prop and Marne Coetzee moves to the bench.”

“It is important for us to keep the winning momentum. The game against the Lions, this week against Province and next week against the Sharks feels like a normal Currie Cup season. We have three games in this month and to stay on top of the log we have to beat Province and beat the Sharks next week in Durban.”

“I think they have a really exciting backline. I think their back three is especially dangerous with turnovers and if you give them space on the bal. I think it is going to be a decent challenge. I think they play a similar brand of rugby than we try to do. They keep the ball in hand. We expect them to bring an attacking game to Bloemfontein. It will be another tough one against Province,” said Captain Ruan Pienaar.

There are a number of changes to the DHL Western Province.

Tristan Leyds makes his return from injury to start at fullback, with Sergeal Petersen and Angelo Davids on the wings.

Cornel Smit and Mnombo Zwelendaba will link up in midfield, while there is an all-new halfback combination of Kade Wolhuter and Thomas Bursey.

Captain Nama Xaba is joined in the loose trio by Marcel Theunissen and No.8 Keke Morabe, with Connor Evans and Ben-Jason Dixon linking up in the second row.

Hooker JJ Kotze also makes his return from injury and will start with props Kwenzo Blose and Lee-Marvin Mazibuko on either side of him. Hooker Lukhanyo Vokozela is in line to make his senior DHL Western Province debut from the replacements bench.

DHL Western Province Head Coach Jerome Paarwater said that his team are ready to give it a full go in Bloemfontein.

“The time off has been valuable for us to look at our game and work on a few important things.

“We are excited to have some key players back in the mix and we are looking forward to seeing how some of these new combinations go against a good Toyota Cheetahs side in Bloemfontein,” he said.


Cheetahs: 15. Cohen Jasper, 14. Daniel Kasende, 13. Evardi Boshoff, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Malcolm Jaer, 10. Siya Masuku, 9. Ruan Pienaar (c), 8. Mihlali Mosi, 7. Jeandré Rudolph, 6. Gideon van der Merwe, 5. Victor Sekekete, 4. Ockie Barnard, 3. Aranos Coetzee, 2. Marnus van der Merwe, 1. Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: 16. Dandrè Delport, 17. Alulutho Tshakweni, 18. Marné Coetzee, 19. Sergio Moreira, 20. Andisa Ntsila, 21. Rewan Kruger, 22. Reinhardt Fortuin, 23. Rosko Specman.

Western Province: 15. Tristan Leyds, 14. Sergeal Petersen, 13. Mnombo Zwelendaba, 12. Cornel Smit, 11. Angelo Davids, 10. Kade Wolhuter, 9. Thomas Bursey, 8. Keke Morabe, 7. Marcel Theunissen, 6. Nama Xaba (c), 5. Ben-Jason Dixon, 4. Connor Evans, 3. Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2. JJ Kotze, 1. Kwenzo Blose. Replacements: 16. Lukhanyo Vokozela, 17. Leon Lyons, 18. Corne Weilbach, 19. Simon Miller, 20. Roelof Smit, 21. Godlen Masimla, 22. Timothy Swiel, 23. Rikus Pretorius.