The Ford Pumas and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs be aiming to continue their great starts to the season when these teams meet up in their second Vodacom Cup match of the season at Ermelo on Saturday at 3pm. The team from Mpumalanga kicked off their campaign by running in five tries during their 35-26 victory over the SWD Eagles in George last weekend. However, their opponents from Bloemfontein, who recorded a 55-19 victory over the Valke, last Friday will be a different proposition altogether where a head-on collision is expected.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs side will be captained by winger Eddie Fredericks and includes Springbok flanker Heinrich Brüssow and former DHL Western Province centre Morgan Newman, who is furthering his rugby career in Bloemfontein.
Coach Pine Pienaar has loaded his bench with four SA U20 hopefuls – flyhalf Johan Goosen, fullback Riaan Britz, scrumhalf Kevin Luiters and prop Stephan Kotze.
In Pretoria, Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Denzil Frans made five changes to his team that lost 19-30 to the Sharks XV last weekend as the defending champions prepare for their match against the Boland Cavaliers at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Talented centre Stefan Watermeyer returns from Vodacom Super Rugby duty and joins a star-studded backline, which include former Springbok wing Akona Ndungane and former Baby Bok representatives Clayton Blommetjies (fullback), Sampie Mastriet (wing) and Francois Venter (centre).
DHL Western Province coach John Dobson has selected a squad mixed with experience and youth for his side’s first Vodacom Cup game on the road when they travel to Kempton Park for their clash against the Valke on Saturday at 15h00.
Five players included in the DHL WP team – Lionel Cronje, Johann Sadie, Yaya Hartzenberg, Louis Schreuder and Siya Kolisi – previously represented the SA U20s, while a host of players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience, like Hilton Lobberts, Tim Whitehead, JD Moller, Wikus Blaauw and JC Kritzinger, provide balance to the team.
In Johannesburg, the Golden Lions will be looking for their first Vodacom Cup victory of the season after playing out an 18-18 draw against DHL Western Province last weekend. They host the Pampas XV at Coca-Cola Park on Friday at 16h45.
Two former Springboks – flyhalf Andre Pretorius, who is approaching his 50th cap for the Golden Lions and winger Tonderai Chavhanga – have been including in the Johannesburg team that will be captained by former SA U20 lock David Bulbring.
In the weekend’s other Vodacom Cup matches, the EP Kings travel to Potchefstroom for their match against the Platinum Leopards on Friday at 18h00; the Griffons host the SWD Eagles at the North West Stadium in Welkom at 15h00 on Saturday, while Griquas are the Diamantveld Hoërskool for their clash against the Border Bulldogs, with kick-off also on Saturday at 15h00. In Windhoek, the Welwitschias face the Sharks XV at the Hage Geingob Stadium at 16h00.
Vodacom Cup Fixtures – Round Two
Friday, March 4, 2011
16h45 Golden Lions v Pampas XV at Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg
18h00 Platinum Leopards v EP Kings at Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Saturday, March 5, 2011
15h00 Valke v DHL Western Province at Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
15h00 Ford Pumas v Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Ermelo
15h00 Griffons v SWD Eagles at North West Stadium, Welkom
15h00 Griquas v Border Bulldogs at Diamantveld Hoërskool, Kimberley
16h00 Welwitschias v Sharks XV at Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek
16h45 Vodacom Blue Bulls v Boland Cavaliers at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
* All times are South African times *