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: Bloemfontein primed for top-of-the-table blockbuster

Avatar Peter White 4 Oct 2019

Having both recorded impressive Round One victories last time out, all eyes will be on Bloemfontein for a mouth-watering first-meets-second clash on Saturday.

Toyota Cheetahs signalled their intentions for a title charge with a scintillating 48-14 win over last year’s beaten finalists Glasgow Warriors on opening weekend and will be keen to profit from the hard ground and high altitude that is likely to test Ulster.

But the Belfast-based side will be confident, having cruised past Ospreys 38-14 in Round One, and will be similarly keen to further enhance their credentials at the top of the table during the World Cup period.

Both sides make just one change, with Franco Smith handing Neethling Fouche his Guinness PRO14 debut in place of the injured Luan de Bruin on the replacements bench.

New signing Bill Johnston comes into the Ulster side to make his first appearance for Dan McFarland’s team at fly-half, while last week’s two-try star Craig Gilroy continues on the wing.

Kick-off: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein | 17:15 (UK) 18:15 (SA), Saturday 5 October

How to watch: Live on eir Sport 1, Premier Sports 2, DAZN and Super Sport 2

Players to watch out for: Rhyno Smith (Cheetahs) and Bill Johnston (Ulster)

Recent arrival Ruan Pienaar stole a lot of the headlines after scoring a league-topping 18 points against the Warriors, but Rhyno Smith was equally instrumental in the Cheetahs’ stylish win.

The 26-year-old notched a brace of tries in Bloemfontein and topped the league charts for number of defenders beaten with eight, and he will be eager to continue in the same vein in Round Two.

Billy Burns was lauded for his opening weekend display for Ulster with two stunning cross-field kicks that set up Craig Gilroy for both of his scores, and Johnston makes his first Ulster appearance with big shoes to fill.

The 22-year-old will partner John Cooney in the half-backs and will be hoping to replicate the Englishman’s Round One performance in what is sure to be a tricky test in South Africa.

Key stat: The South Africans are winless in their last seven fixtures against Irish provinces since beating Connacht at Toyota Stadium in March 2018.

Toyota Cheetahs: Rhyno Smith, William Small-Smith, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Dries Swanepoel, Anthony Volmink, Tian Schoeman, Ruan Pienaar; Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Erich de Jager, Sintu Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp, Gerhard Olivier, Junior Pokomela, Henco Venter

Replacements: Reinach Venter, Boan Venter, Neethling Fouche, JP du Preez, Sias Koen, Jasper Wiese, Tian Meyer, Louis Fouche

Ulster: Matt Faddes, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, James Hume, Rob Lyttle; Bill Johnston, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Greg Jones

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Clive Ross, David Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Louis Ludik


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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

Report: Volmink hat-trick helps Cheetahs to emphatic win over Ulster

Avatar Luke Baker 5 Oct 2019

An Anthony Volmink hat-trick helped Toyota Cheetahs extend their imperious start to the Guinness PRO14 season as they eased to a ruthless victory over Ulster in Bloemfontein.

Volmink was clinical in engineering the hosts’ triumph, with a Rhyno Smith double and tries from Joseph Dweba, Louis Fouche and Reinach Venter also toppling their out-gunned visitors.

And despite late efforts from James Hume, Dave Shanahan and Craig Gilroy, it was too little too late for Ulster, who succumbed to their first Guinness PRO14 defeat of the season.

Key moments

The hosts came out of the blocks quickly, enjoying considerable territory and making their early pressure pay when Volmink went over for his maiden Cheetahs try.

Ulster’s rallying efforts were thwarted by an aggressive Cheetahs defence, who were soon able to enjoy a 14-point point lead after Volmink waltzed past several Ulster defenders to dot down once again.

The away side did get on the scoresheet through Sam Carter, but full-back Smith swiftly set about restoring Cheetahs’ seven-point advantage as he ripped through Ulster to go over for his third Guinness PRO14 try of the season.

The influential Dweba then scored just before half-time to wrap up the bonus point, before Cheetahs provided a further display of their Guinness PRO14 credentials in the second half through Volmink’s intercepted effort and another brilliant solo score by Smith.

Replacement Fouche then further extended their advantage, before tries from Ulster pairing Hume and Shanahan reduced the deficit in what was little more than a consolation.

And despite a bonus-point score from Gilroy, a Venter effort and a penalty try completed the rout to leave Cheetahs revelling in their 109 points from the first two matches.

Man of the match

While there were several standout performances from a Cheetahs perspective – Dweba, Smith and former Ulster hero Ruan Pienaar were all superb – it was Volmink who stole the limelight with his brilliant trio of tries.

The winger was a continual nuisance for the Ulster defence, showing a combination of pace and trickery to leave the visitors in disarray and score a deserved hat-trick.

Play of the day

It was a game characterised by glimpses of individual brilliance, but Volmink’s second try was a moment of magic that the South African winger will surely remember for a long time.

Receiving the ball deep inside his own half, Volmink set about causing havoc among the Ulster defence, sidestepping past multiple players and showing a lightning turn of pace to go over and put the hosts in the driving seat.


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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