Venter lauds Super Rugby top scorer Zeilinga

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Fred Zeilinga PHOTO: NICOLETTE TALJAARD

The Toyota Cheetahs captain, Francois Venter, has praised the Super Rugby’s leading point’s scorer after five rounds, Fred Zeilinga.

The Cheetahs pivot leads the standings on 52 points, which is seven more than the 45 scored by the Southern Kings flyhalf, Lionel Cronjé.

Venter told Courant that there is a big improvement in the player’s game this season and along with Niel Marais will make his job in the backline a lot easier.

“I must complement Fred, he has been a different player this year as opposed to last year”, said the Springbok centre.

“He is a lot calmer this year and his decision making is a lot better.

“But with Niel Marais there as well you can pick either one because are performing well.

“It’s all about the team and everybody just needs to complement each other and hopefully we’ll get the success.

The Cheetahs tackle the Sharks tomorrow night in Bloemfontein and the team welcomes Venter, Nico Lee, Sergeal Petersen, Raymond Rhule, Ox Nche and Justin Basson back from injury.

The inspirational skipper added that while they did well in the Currie Cup they aren’t quite the complete unit in Super Rugby, but they are heading in the right direction.

“As a team we still need to mature into Super Rugby, that’s one lesson we’ve learnt from the first game to this game.

“One thing that we can improve on is finding the balance between keeping the ball and playing for territory. He Jaguares game was a good example for us.

“I’m very excited, we’ve done everything right thus far, we just need to go out there and execute our plan”.

Tomorrow evening’s match at the Toyota Stadium kicks off at 17:15.

At 8:35 this morning the Crusaders tackle the Western Force at the AMI Stadium and at 10:45 the Melbourne Rebels entertain the Waratahs at AAMI Park.

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tier Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements – 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Neil Marais, 23 Rayno Benjamin / Clinton Swart.

Sharks – 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements – 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April. – MORGAN PIEK