Strauss duo set for super waltz

2011-05-05 11:03

Their dance may not be suited to the Vienna State Opera, but there is no doubt that once Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss and Lions flank Joshua – who shares the musically famous surname – meet in Joburg for a Super Rugby match tomorrow, spectators are likely to request an encore.

The Cheetahs captain played no part in his team’s first encounter against the Lions because of injury, but has since reclaimed his place in the frontrow where he has built a reputation for being one of the toughest men in the specialised trade.

Though not related to the Springbok hooker, the big-bearded Joshua Strauss has shown that he too is not shy when it comes to contact situations, and like the Free State squad’s skipper, he has become a key player in his team.

Joshua will be back in the No 7 jersey for the first time tomorrow after spending some time away from the game due to concussion.

The hosts do, however, realise that the biggest threat in the Cheetahs team is likely to come from scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius.

Lions coach John Mitchell conceded that Pretorius was a game breaker, but would not go into detail as to how they planned to stop him.

“He certainly can [open a game up] and we look forward to meeting him this weekend,” Mitchell said.

Another man who is goose-stepping his way into Test match contention is Cheetahs loosehead prop Coenie Oosthuizen.

Mitchell said he hoped the inclusion of Kevin Buys at tighthead would minimise Oosthuizen’s impact.

“Selecting Kevin is not to counter the threat, it is to attack it. Kevin is technically a very good scrummager and his challenge will be to go for 80 minutes,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell said his team’s tackling would have to be spot on if they were to end their two-year winless run at home.

“We are certainly going to have to be at our best defensively,” he said.

“They [the Cheetahs] look like a side that basically enjoys having a crack and they are doing it well. They are demonstrating good energy and enthusiasm although they leak a fair bit so that is encouraging.” 

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