Sunday, June 22, 2008
CURRIE CUP 2008: anuDDer Preview!
These Cheetahs could be legends
Tue, 17 Jun 2008 18:18
The Free State Cheetahs want to rewrite the history books by conquering the Currie Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
Cheetahs head coach Naka Drotské feels that the fact that the Springbok players will be available in Currie Cup contention for the first time since 2005, will certainly make a big impact for the Cheetahs.
"We'll have to collect as many league points as possible over the initial stages of the competition, so that we can secure a home semifinal," Drotské told Volksblad.
However, the coach doesn't feel that he needs to alter the Cheetahs gameplan too much, due to the involvement of the Boks in the domestic series.
The Free State Cheetahs have been champions of South Africa's most prestigious domestic competition since 2005. If they manage to win yet another title this year, they would become only the second team to achieve the feat of four consecutive titles since the inception of the Currie Cup Finals in 1939.
The Western Province team of the 1980s dominated the Currie Cup landscape to the extent that they landed a record five titles on the trot between 1982 and 1986.
"I still remember the names of everyone of those players that played for WP in that era," said Drotské.
"This year's Cheetahs team also has the opportunity to become heroes to young players, just like that WP team of the eighties did."
The Blue Bulls were Currie Cup champions between 2002 and 2004, until the Cheetahs, under the leadership of Drotské, won the Cup for the first time in 29 years.
"I remember telling the players after the Final of 2005 that it was amazing that a team could win the Currie Cup three years in a row, like the Bulls did in 2004. Now the Cheetahs are in the same boat," Drotské said.
The Cheetahs will be captained this season by flank Hendro Scholtz. Scholtz is one of 10 Springboks amongst the Cheetah ranks.
The Cheetahs have selected a Currie Cup group of 46 players, and many of the players will do duty for Griffons in the First Division of the series to retain match sharpness.
Three players from the SA Under-20 team have also been included in the squad. They are centre Robert Ebersohn, his twin brother, Sias (flyhalf), and fullback Wilton Pietersen.
Free State Cheetahs squad:
Backs: Bevin Fortuin, Wilton Pietersen, Hennie Daniller, Alwyn Hollenbach, Herman Pretorius, Friederich Lombaard, Fabian Juries, Giscard Pieters, Jongi Nokwe, Howard Noble, Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Hendrik Meyer, Bernd Theisinger, Phillip Snyman, Meyer Bosman, Robert Ebersohn, Chris Rossouw, Sias Ebersohn, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Tewis de Bruyn, Neil Powell, Jandré Blom.
Forwards: Darron Nell, Jonathan Mokuena Juan Smith, Ashley Johnson, Kabamba Floors, Duanne Vermeulen, Nicky Steyn, Hendro Scholtz, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk van der Merwe, David de Villiers, Barend Pieterse, Flip van der Merwe, Kobus Calldo, Wian du Preez, Ronnie Uys, Phillip Lemmer, Drew van Coller, Coenie Oosthuizen, Richardt Strauss, Adriaan Strauss, Jaco du Toit.
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