Cheetahs hooker Joseph Dweba will play his 50th match for the team on Saturday as the Bloemfontein side look to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Connacht when they take on the Scarlets on Saturday in their PRO14 Rugby game in Llanelli.
Dweba, who has been an inspiration for the side with five tries this season and was also one of the form forwards in the Cheetahs’ victory in the Currie Cup this season, has continued his form as the team head into their second tour match in Europe.
Coach Hawies Fourie believes Dweba can inspire the team further this weekend and is hoping for him to continue his form for the side.
“It is a special achievement for any player and I’m really glad for Joseph. He is putting in the hard yards and I’m hoping he will repeat that success this weekend and show the way for the Cheetahs,” Fourie said.
“Joseph is an inspiration for many of the players in the team and we really hope he has a great game again.”
Fourie is looking for an improved performance from his Cheetahs side after they lost the game in injury time.
“We will have to improve in different areas, we conceded too many penalties against Connacht in the first half and we didn’t play particularly well in the first half. We only had 32 percent possession and made a lot of handling errors - 15 in the entire game - and we will have to improve on that,” he said.
“We are a ball-in-hand team and we want to score tries and we want to attack and play at a high pace. If we want to do that we need to stop making as many mistakes. We conceded 13 penalties as well and that’s 28 times we gave the ball away against Connacht.”
He predicted a high-tempo game against the Welsh side.
“The Scarlets are also playing at a high-temp. They have Brad Mooar as their coach and have a bit of a New Zealand flavour to their attack, attacking from broken play and playing off turnovers.
“They have a really different kicking game. They kick a lot of grubbers and chips behind the opposition and the score a lot of tries from that so we will have to be wary of their kicking game.
“Their linespeed from first phase is another attribute; they come up at a very fast pace. We will have to deal with it, and we have a few plans on how to counter that.”
♦ The Isuzu Southern Kings, on the other hand, will be fielding a young team with former SA under-20 centre JT Jackson looking to take over the role of flyhalf for their match against Glasgow Warriors after kingpin Demetri Catrakilis was injured.
Coach Robbi Kempson has given a number of the younger players a start and believes the exuberance will serve the team well against last season’s finalists.
“Glasgow unfortunately lost against the Dragons last week, which never helps us arriving at their home turf. They do have the option of a few of their Scottish internationals who have arrived back from Rugby World Cup duty,” Kempson said.
“So yes, it’s another big battle that is expected, we expect them to make a few changes in the forward pack given they need the win, and we have a fairly young backline, but we are confident that they will produce the goods.
“We will have an exciting young team to be fair, and if we are ever going to grow, we can’t expect to be doing the same thing with the same personnel and expect the same result. It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to take their chance take the step up and see what sort of results we can get out of them.”
Both games will be televised on Supersport.
Glasgow Warriors vs Southern Kings, Friday 21:35
Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU, 5th Championship Appearance)
AR1: Keith Allen (SRU) AR2: John Carvill (IRFU)
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)
Scarlets vs Cheetahs, Saturday 17:00
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 39th Championship Appearance)
AR1: David Sutherland (SRU) AR2: Simon Rees (WRU)
TMO: Neil Patterson (SRU)