Cheetahs boost second row department with Hugo signature

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MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs will tread lightly for the battling Reds on Saturday evening when the two sides clash in the Super Rugby.

It’s the Cheetahs first home game since losing to the Bulls in round four of the competition and they will be looking to build on last weeks’ 24-15 win over the Western Force.

While the win against the Force was their only win on tour, the side is upbeat for the remainder of the campaign.

Coach Naka Drotské warned that no team can be taken lightly, and said the beauty of the competition is that just small margins separate the top and bottom teams.

“It was really important, it was a tough tour for us. We played against some tough teams, it’s never easy playing the Crusaders, Chiefs and Brumbies, easily away. We needed the win urgently, it’s really important for the rest of our campaign.

“You could see today in the way the players trained, there was a lot of intensity and we look forward to the rest of the season,” Drotské said.

It’s not going to be an easy game they’ve got a lot of game-breakers. They’ve got two of their best players coming back for this weekend.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we need to two, there’s no doubt about that. If we play the way we now we can and stick to our structures then we can win, it’s in our hands on Saturday.

Captain Francois Uys added that they are happy with performance at scrum time during their win over the Force, but there is still some room for improvement.

“We are happy with the way things when on Saturday, we are still going to have a few video sessions. There are maybe still one or two things to sort out, but it’s definitely on the up,” said Uys.

“We have struggled and it’s cost us a lot of penalties at times and it’s puts a team under a lot of pressure,” the lock added.

“We’ve had a really good week when it comes to setpiece preparation and we said if we can sort out this part of game and stop conceding penalties we will improve our chances of winning,” he concluded.

Furthermore, the team have boosted their second-row department with the signature of brilliants Varsity Cup lock, Reniel Hugo. The former Maties and now Tukkies player was this week named as the captain of the first ever Varsity Cup Dream Team.

Hugo is the son of former Springbok and Western Province lock, Niel Hugo who represented Province in 146 matches in the 1980’s and 90’s. It’s the second most caps for the side from Cape Town. Only former Springbok and Wallabies 8th-man Tiaan Strauss has more (156).

Saturday evenings’ match at the Free State Stadium kicks off at 19:10.

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 11 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 BG Uys.

Replacements – 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Danie Minnie, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Tienie Burger, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Rayno Benjamin.