Cheetahs youngsters to get another crack against EP

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Banie Brits. PHOTO: Morgan Piek

The Toyota Cheetahs will be resting some of their big names during Saturday’s SA Cup game against Eastern Province in Bloemfontein.

Last week the Cheetahs suffered their first defeat of the competition with a 50-0 drubbing at the hands of the Pumas.

In addition, the first choice players were in France where they lost 27-22 to Clermont in the last 16 of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

The focus for the Cheetahs shifts back to the SA Cup which they are using in preparation for their Currie Cup title defence.

While the SA Cup may not be all that significant at this stage, from next year it’s believed that the teams will have to qualify from play in the Currie Cup through this tournament.

It remains an ideal platform for the Cheetahs to blood young players like they did during last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Pumas.

The 18-year-old Christiaan van der Westhuizen is one of the players who only completed his schooling in 2023. PHOTO: Morgan Piek

The coach, Izak van der Westhuizen, told OFM Sport that it’s important to manage the squad properly.

“The plan is still to give as many of these players as possible a chance to play. There are guys here that haven’t played in a long time, so we want to get as many of them as possible to play in the way that we want to.

“There are a few of the guys that put up their hands against the Pumas and showed that they can. The idea is to definitely give them an opportunity again and then also use a bunch of the players that were in France for the Clermont game.

“Against Pumas we blooded a bunch of players that were still at school last year and several of them put their hands up and showed that they can stand their ground. So, there will definitely be some of them playing this weekend.”

Saturday’s game at the Toyota Stadium kicks off at 15:00.

Morgan Piek