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 Munster

Will Thompson 12 Apr 2018
Simon Zebo, Munster

Toyota Cheetahs can seal their place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, in their first season in the Championship, if they defeat Munster Rugby at the Toyota Stadium on Friday night.

It’s third meets second in Conference A and it’s sure to be a much closer contest than when Munster thrashed the Cheetahs 51-18 at Thomond Park in the second round of the season.

The Cheetahs took a big step towards the play-offs last week as a late penalty try gave them a dramatic 29-27 victory over Cardiff Blues, while Munster ensured their season will be extended by defeating Southern Kings 39-22.

What’s at stake?

The Cheetahs are nine points clear of fourth-placed Cardiff Blues in Conference A with just two games to go, so victory would guarantee a place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series.

With seven points separating them from Munster, a win would also maintain their chances of gaining home advantage in a Semi-Final Qualifier.

Should Munster pick up their second straight win in South Africa, such an advantage would definitely be theirs, while it would keep alive their hopes of still finishing above Conference leaders Glasgow Warriors.

Team news (Cheetahs)

South Africa international Johan Goosen will make his Guinness PRO14 debut at fly-half in what is regarded as a ’10-pointer’ in Conference A.

The 25-year-old’s introduction is one the one change made by head coach Rory Duncan to the line-up from last week’s win over Cardiff.

Niel Marais, who started at No.10 in that match, moves to inside centre with Clinton Swart dropping to the bench, which also includes prop Charles Marais.

Team news (Munster)

Head coach Johann van Graan has made nine changes to the side that defeated the Kings last week, with Ireland internationals Simon Zebo and Peter O’Mahony both included in the starting line-up.

Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam will start on the wings, Sammy Arnold comes in at inside centre and prop Brian Scott makes just his second start of the season.

Captain O’Mahony is part of a new back row, which is completed by Jack O’Donoghue and Robin Copeland, while JJ Hanrahan moves from full back to fly-half, as Ian Keatley starts on the bench along with scrum-half Conor Murray.

Talking points

Munster scrum-half James Hart: “They have been tough to beat over here, only Glasgow have managed that so far.

“I have never played at altitude so I am looking forward to seeing how the lungs go.

“I know it will be tough but we are a very well-conditioned side and our preparations out here have gone very well so hopefully there will be no issue for us.”

Key battle – Johan Goosen v JJ Hanrahan

Johan Goosen is playing in his first game of rugby since the end of 2016, when he suddenly retired while at French side Racing 92 and he makes his return in a crucial game for the Cheetahs.

They have an excellent home record and they’ll need the transition of Goosen’s arrival at fly-half to be a smooth one if they’re to make the most of their forwards’ hard work.

His opposite number, JJ Hanrahan, is a player who prefers to run with the ball in hand rather than kick for the corners, is capable of cutting through the opposition’s defence and has a potent backline outside of him.

Key fact: The Cheetahs’ only defeat in Bloemfontein this season was at the hands of Glasgow Warriors in Round 6.

Did you know? The Cheetahs haven’t recorded four straight wins since their 2013 Super Rugby campaign.

Toyota Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, William Small-Smith, Francois Venter, Niel Marais, Sibhale Maxwane, Johan Goosen, Tian Meyer, Ox Nche, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Carl Wegner, Reniel Hugo, Paul Schoeman, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Charles Marais, Tom Botha, Rynier Bernarbo, Henco Venter, Zee Mkhabela, Clinton Swart, AJ Coertzen

Munster Rugby: Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam, JJ Hanrahan, James Hart, Brian Scott, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Gerbrandt Grobler, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue, Robin Copeland

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, Rory Scannell

TV: Live on SuperSport and Sky Sports

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.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

Replacement Murray inspires Munster to comeback win over Cheetahs

Andrew Lawton 13 Apr 2018

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray came off the bench to guide Munster to a stunning come-from-behind victory against the Toyota Cheetahs in South Africa.

On the second leg of their South African tour, having beaten the Kings last weekend, Munster trailed early on after tries from Clayton Blommetjies and Tian Meyer had the Cheetahs ahead.

But Murray scored a try within seconds of coming off the bench before slotting a massive 56-metre penalty on 66 minutes to give the Irish province the win.

Third-placed Cheetahs had a fine start when Blommetjies, who will join Scarlets at the end of the season, went over in the right corner.

Teboho Mohoje had claimed the initial line-out with the hosts moving the ball wide with Francois Venter’s hands giving the Cheetahs full-back time and space to go over.

And with Simon Zebo in the sin bin, the South African side had their second with the full-back Blommetjies involved again with a break from the back of a ruck.

Munster had disrupted the Cheetahs attack only for Blommetjies to seize the loose ball and before timing his pass perfectly to Meyer who had a free run to the line.

The Munster forwards brought the Irish province back into the match with a powerful drive only for Robin Copeland’s knock on to deny the visitors a first try.

Munster pulled a try back just seconds after Conor Murray replaced the injured James Hart as the scrum-half sniped from the back of a five-metre scrum to make it 14-7.

Johan Goosen extended the lead to ten points with a penalty on the stroke of half-time but JJ Hanrahan cancelled out his effort with a successful kick on 45 minutes.

Hanrahan added two further penalty to make it 17-16 before Murray smashed over three points from inside his own half to give Munster the lead for the first time.

Munster’s win means they are now confirmed to finish second Conference A and will have a home Guinness PRO14 Final Series Qualifier on May 4-6.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.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