Injured Lions ready for fighting Cheetahs

2011-08-11 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The Cheetahs are a team of fighters and never give up, Lions captain Josh Strauss said yesterday as his team prepares to take on the Free State squad in their Absa Currie Cup rugby match in Johannesburg on Saturday.

“We said in the week that they are a team of fighters and we know that they are always going to come at you for 80 minutes,” he said.

The bushy-bearded eighthman said that the men from Bloemfontein would not move away from their traditional style of play.

While the Cheetahs bounced back from a less than impressive start to the season, when they secured a 28-22 victory over Western Province, the Lions have not lost a match after four rounds in the competition.

They did, however, lose star centre Waylon Murray as he picked up a season-ending knee injury during last week’s 36-27 victory over the Blue Bulls.

This has forced coach John Mitchell to re-shuffle his backline.

Murray’s place as outside centre was given to former Cheetahs speedster Lionel Mapoe with Michael Killian moving from fullback to wing where Mapoe usually plays.

There is still uncertainty over La Grange’s fitness and he might only be available for selection in two-weeks time.

Mitchell said that he has confident that Mapoe — a former Springbok Sevens players — will be up for the new challenge.

The only other change to the Lions squad is on the bench where Michael Rhodes made way for Johan Snyman.

“Michael gave away a soft yellow last week, so we have decided to go with Johan this week,” said Mitchell.

TEAMS:

Golden Lions:

15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jannie Boshoff

Free State Cheetahs:

15 Riaan Smit, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Pieter Myburgh, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Nico Scheepers, 22 Philip Burger

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