Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Toyota Cheetahs v Ospreys

Paul Eddison 28 Sep 2017

After starting slowly on the road the Toyota Cheetahs have found some form back in Bloemfontein and will look to extend that record at home to the Ospreys on Friday in a game which kicks off at 5pm local time at Toyota Stadium.

What’s at stake? The Cheetahs were made to pay for defensive lapses away to both Ulster and Munster to start their campaign but back-to-back wins over Zebre and then Leinster have got them back on track.

They welcome an Ospreys side with just one win from their first four games, and in need of a win to start to make up some ground.

Team news (Cheetahs): After their impressive win over Leinster, Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has made just one change to his team, welcoming back Springbok international Raymond Rhule.

The winger has been a regular in Allister Coetzee’s side this season but misses out, with the Cheetahs the beneficiaries. As a result Rosco Specman drops to the bench.

Team news (Ospreys): The Ospreys have made four changes to the side that went down in Treviso, including a first start of the season for Alun Wyn Jones in the second row.

Justin Tipuric is away with his partner, who is due to give birth, and his place is taken by Guy Mercer in his first start since joining from Bath. The other changes see Jay Baker included on the wing and James King start at No.8.

Talking points: The Ospreys become the first Welsh side to travel to South Africa for the Guinness PRO14, but find themselves in a perilous position after three straight defeats. Head coach Steve Tandy is only too aware of the importance of the game, beyond its historical significance.

He said: “The welcome we’ve had has been fantastic. It’s a great experience, to be the first Welsh team to come to South Africa for a Guinness PRO14 fixture, but we have to keep sight of the fact that we have a job to do, and a tough one at that.

“Cheetahs have shown what they are about the last couple of weekends. The win over Leinster was particularly impressive, so the size of the task is pretty clear.

“There’s no doubt that we’re going to have to be considerably better than we were last weekend, or have been so far this season. We expect better from ourselves as Ospreys. Talk is pretty easy though and means nothing if we don’t follow it up on the field. That’s pretty obvious and it’s fair to say we need to do more than just talk a good game, we need to deliver for 80 minutes when it matters.”

Key battle: William Small-Smith v James Hook

He might be overshadowed by Springbok midfield partner Francois Venter, but William Small-Smith has impressed for the Cheetahs in the early weeks of the season.

Regularly on the shoulder running great support lines, he has shown a nose for the try-line with three tries in four games so far.

Up against him, the returning James Hook has hit the ground running for his hometown side. And while the results haven’t been there as yet, Hook will be an important man for the Ospreys in South Africa.

Key stat: The Ospreys are bidding to avoid a fourth straight defeat in the Guinness PRO14, a run which they have suffered only once in their history, all the way back in 2003/4 during their inaugural campaign.

Did you know? Ospreys second row Alun Wyn Jones will be captaining the side for the 100th time in in Bloemfontein on Friday.

Toyota Cheetahs: S Petersen, R Rhule, F Venter, W Small-Smith, M Mapimpi, E Stapelberg, T Meyer, C Marais, T van Jaarsveld, T Botha, J Basson, R Hugo, P Schoeman, H Venter, O Mohoje.

Replacements: J du Toit, O Nche, J Coetzee, R Bernardo, J Pokomela, S Venter, N Lee, R Specman.

Ospreys: D Evans, K Giles, B John, J Hook, J Baker, D Biggar, R Webb, N Smith, S Baldwin, M Fia; A Beard, AW Jones, O Cracknell, G Mercer, J King

Replacements: S Otten, G Thomas, R Jones, L Ashley, D Lydiate, T Habberfield, S Davies, K Fonotia

TV: SuperSport1/BBC Wales 2 (5pm KO local)

Match officials – Referee:  Frank Murphy (IRFU) AR1: George Clancy (IRFU), AR2: Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU)

TMO: Johan Greeff (SARU)

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

 

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Toyota Cheetahs beat Ospreys for third straight Guinness PRO14 victory

Andrew Lawton 29 Sep 2017

Torsten van Jaarsveld and Makazole Mapimpi both scored two tries as the Toyota Cheetahs earned their third straight Guinness PRO14 win with victory over Ospreys.

The hosts raced into a 15-0 lead only for Rhys Webb and Kieron Fonotia scores to bring the Ospreys back into the game before Mapimpi had the Cheetahs ahead at the break.

Paul Schoeman gave the Cheetahs’ their try bonus point before Mapimpi made sure of the result with his fifth score of the Guinness PRO14 season.

Dan Evans’ score hinted at a second Ospreys comeback but Francois Venter added further gloss to the Cheetahs win.

Hooker van Jaarsveld opened the scoring for the Cheetahs as he went over from the back of a driving maul before Ernst Stapelberg extended their advantage with a penalty.

And the hosts were 15-0 ahead after an excellent team try which started in their own 22 and ended with van Jaarsveld going over for his fifth try of the campaign.

Francois Venter collected a long clearance kick and launched a counter attack which saw Mapimpi burst through and van Jaarsveld was in the perfect place to finish off a fine team score.

Then came the Ospreys comeback as Webb threw a dummy and sniped successfully at the side of a ruck for his first try of the season.

Biggar converted and set up Fonotia soon after with a delicate grubber which the replacement managed to dot down to bring the score to 15-14.

The Wales fly-half pushed the Ospreys ahead with a penalty but the Cheetahs were 22-17 to the good at the break as Makazole Mapimpi crossed for his fourth score of the campaign.

Biggar and Stapelberg exchanged penalties early in the second half before another decisive driving maul gave the Cheetahs their try bonus point.

Paul Schoeman was the man who made the final pick and go from close range to give the hosts a 32-20 lead as the hour mark approached.

And while Van Jaarsveld was in the sin bin, Mapimpi beat Keelan Giles to collect an excellently placed box kick from scrum-half Tian Meyer and score the Cheetah’s fifth try.

Dan Evans snuck over in the corner to make the score 37-25 and with Ospreys pushing for two bonus points, Venter was able to intercept and add further gloss to the scoreline.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138