Prop Coenie Oosthuizen and Willie le Roux were rested last week as part of the SARU agreement to rest Springboks after they’ve played five consecutive Super Rugby matches.
The Brumbies, who head the Australian Conference, will go into the match on the back of a bye and the Cheetahs may be alert for an opportunity to strike hard after the kick-off if there are signs of rustiness.
The Cheetahs will also be mindful of the fact that the Brumbies have made several changes among the forward and the back divisions.
The Brumbies will be searching for their fifth win of the season and their first against a South African side in 2015.
The Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is wary of the Bloemfontein side even though they are presently near the foot-end of the standings.
“We went over there last year and they toweled us up and played really well (they won 27-21),” said Larkham. “Two years ago we played them in a qualifying final and if a kick went over on the bell, they would’ve beaten us.
“And they’re one of those sides who can turn it on from week to week, so we certainly won’t be going into the game thinking it’s going to be easy because of their results (this season).
“Their set-piece attack is some of the best in world rugby. They come out with a lot of new moves within a season, and they’re very skilful at executing those moves. We’ll have to be very wary in defence.”
Larkham also pointed out that breakdown dominance could be decisive and anticipates a keen duel between David Pocock and the Cheetahs’ forgotten Springbok Heinrich Brussow.
“They’re very similar, yeah, and certainly when you look at the Cheetahs game, there are a couple of guys in their back-row who are very hard on the ball,” said Larkham.
“But Brussow, particularly, is really hard on the ball and is very similar to ‘Poey’ with his skill set as well, and very tough. He’s certainly someone that we’re going to be keeping an eye on and targeting out there on the paddock.
“It’s going to be a really good match-up.”
The Cheetahs will be looking for added thrust in the midfield where they have restored Francois Venter and Johann Sadie as a centre pairing.
The other trump card the Cheetahs are hoping to play is scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius who has re-joined the team after attending the birth of his second child. He’ll start off on the bench and will provide cover for Tian Meyer. – ANA
Original source: Cheetahs boosted by returning Boks