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: Cardiff Blues v Toyota Cheetahs

Andrew Lawton 9 Feb 2018
Rey Lee-Lo, Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues will face off against Toyota Cheetahs at Cardiff Arms Park in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday evening.

Cheetahs won both their two derbies against Southern Kings whilst the Blues come into the game after back-to-back defeats to Leicester Tigers and London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

What’s at stake?: The visitors sit third in Conference A and the Blues are just one place but 15 points behind their South African rivals.

With eight regular season games left, the Blues need to win to stay within touching distance of the play-offs.

The Cheetahs have won once outside of South Africa this season but a win in the Welsh capital could move them above Munster.

Team news (Blues): The Blues make 12 changes after their Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to London Irish last weekend.

They have four Wales squad members back with openside Ellis Jenkins and lock Seb Davies getting starts whilst scrum-half Tomos Williams and prop Dillon Lewis are on the bench.

Team news (Cheetahs): Cheetahs captain and Springboks centre Francois Venter returns to the side after injury.

Paul Schoeman is in line to play his 50th game for Cheetahs, whilst Malcolm Jaer could make his Guinness PRO14 debut if he comes off the bench.

Talking points:

Blues’ Macauley Cook said: “It’s been an intense training week, but now we’re looking forward to Saturday and hopefully we’ll get the all-important result.

“We’ve got four games coming up now and three of those are at home so it’s a massive period for us.

“If we can get momentum going in the PRO14, then hopefully we can start climbing the table and get into a position we can be proud of.

“We’ve got the strength in depth in this squad to deal with this intense period and get some good results.”

Key Battle: Francois Venter v Rey Lee-Lo

The Springbok centre is back in at the deep end against an extremely experienced operator in Lee-Lo.

Venter will be hoping to lead from the front as he takes on the captaincy hoping to help the Cheetahs to just their second away win of the season.

Lee-Lo was with New Zealand side the Hurricanes before joining the Blues, two and a half seasons ago and signed a new long-term deal in December.

Key Stat: The Blues have only won one of their last four Guinness PRO14 games whilst Cheetahs have only lost one of their last five.

Did you know? This will be the first time the Blues and Cheetahs have ever played each other, and it will also be the first time the Welshmen have ever met a South African side.

Cardiff Blues: Rhun Williams; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Rey Lee-Lo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Matthew Rees, Anton Peikrishvili, George Earle, Seb Davies, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson, Tomos Williams, Dan Fish, Ryan Edwards

Toyota Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, Craig Barry, Francois Venter (C), Nico Lee, Sibhale Maxwano, Fred Zeilinga, Shaun Venter, Ox Nche, Torsten Van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Justin Basson, Rynier Bernardo, Paul Schoeman, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Jacques Du Toit, Charles Marais, Tom Botha, Carl Wegner, Henco Venter, Zee Mkhabela, Niel Marais, Malcolm Jaer

TV: S4C (19:35 GMT), SuperSport1 (21:35 UTC+02:00)

Match officials – Referee: Ian Davies
AR1: Rhys Thomas
AR2: Rob Price
Citing Commisioner: Jeff Mark
TMO: Jon Mason

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 can 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

Williams shines as Cardiff Blues defeat Toyota Cheetahs

Charlie Peat 10 Feb 2018

A scintillating performance from Nick Williams helped steer Cardiff Blues to their first league win of 2018 against Toyota Cheetahs.

Williams crossed the whitewash following dot downs from Rey Lee-Lo and Ellis Jenkins as Cardiff moved back above Connacht.

This was the sixth defeat of the season for the Cheetahs and five of those have come away from the Free State Stadium.

In what was the first clash between the two sides in the Guinness PRO14, the Cheetahs made the perfect start thanks to the sheer power of Ox Nche.

The 22-year-old steamrollered through the Welsh outfit’s defence, holding off four players before sniping over by the posts.

But Danny Wilson would’ve been delighted with the immediate and incisive response his side made as Lee-Lo touched down.

The 30-year-old Samoan crashed over from short range after Aled Summerhill’s superb break down the right hand side.

Six minutes later the Blues were in front as the hosts capitalised on a yellow card and dotted down thanks to the speedy Ellis Jenkins who collected the ball from the line-out to waltz over.

And a Jarrod Evans penalty helped extend the Blues advantage three minutes before the break.

The Blues came flying out of the blocks in the second period and a superb run from Rhun Williams carved apart the Cheetahs defence before being thwarted just before the line.

The Welsh faithful didn’t have to wait long for a breakthrough as Williams powered his way over with a trademark burst to put nine points between the sides.

The Cheetahs looked down and out in the tie but finally showed signed of life in the 62nd minute as Uzair Cassiem crossed in the corner to bring the South Africans back to within a score.

Time was running out for the Cheetahs and the Blues extended their advantage with 10 minutes to go courtesy of another Evans penalty.

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 can 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