ACT Brumbies

Match Preview – Brumbies V Cheetahs (Speight at 13!)

Match Preview – Brumbies V Cheetahs (Speight at 13!)

This round 8 clash sees the ACT Brumbies host the Free State Cheetahs @ 7:40pm  at Bruce Stadium.

The overall standings ladder shows this as a 2nd v 12th battle with the home team coming off the bye eleven competition points higher, but this game by no means is a forgone conclusion and an upset could be on the cards.

Form

Both Teams haven’t registered a win in a few weeks, the Brumbies last won against the Reds in Round 5, whereas the Cheetahs last won all the way back in Round 3 in Bloemfontein against the Blues.

The Brumbies are coming off the bye this week and should be rejuvenated. The previous week they lost away from home to the Waratahs, outplayed in a brutal encounter. The Brumbies, usually better on defence, missed 28 tackles (Folau probably responsible for half of those) and conceded three tries. The Brumbies currently sit on a ten-match winning streak at home.

The Cheetahs, minus key Springboks, lost last week four tries to three away from home to the Chiefs, a team the Brumbies also failed to beat on the road. The Cheetahs collectively missed 31 tackles and 30 the week before to concede eleven tries on their two-game tour of New Zealand.

The Cheetahs have won one (Sharks in Round 1 this year) of their last 13 games on the road and are on a six match losing streak when visiting Australia and New Zealand.

Head to Head

The Brumbies and the Cheetahs have played ten times with the respective home team only failing to win once. Nine of these games have resulted in more than 47 points being scored. Last year the Brumbies traveled to Bloemfontein and went down 21 – 27. The Brumbies have won all six games they have played against the Cheetahs at home including the 2013 qualifying final by a missed sideline conversion shown in the video below.

 The Teams

 Scott Sio 1 Danie Mienie
 Stephen Moore 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld
 Ben Alexander 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
 Blake Enever 4 Carl Wegner
 Sam Carter 5 Francois Uys (c)
 Scott Fardy 6 Heinrich Brussow
 David Pocock 7 Boom Prinsloo
 Jarrad Butler 8 Willie Britz
 Nic White 9 Tian Meyer
 Matt Toomua 10 Joe Pietersen
 Joseph Tomane 11 Raymond Rhule
 Christian Lealiifano 12 Francois Venter
 Henry Speight 13 Johann Sadie
 James Dargaville 14 Cornal Hendricks
 Robbie Coleman 15 Willie le Roux
Reserves
 Josh Mann-Rea 16 Stephan Coetzee
 Allan Alaalatoa 17 BG Uys
 Ruan Smith 18 Maks van Dyk
 Jordan Smiler 19 Steven Sykes
 Ita Vaea 20 Tienie Burger
 Michael Dowsett 21 Sarel Pretorius
 Nigel Ah Wong 22 Willie du Plessis
 Lausii Taliauli 23 Rayno Benjamin
Location: Saturday 4 April 2015
Kickoff: Sat 4 Apr 19:40
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Ed Martin
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO : Peter Marshall

Brumbies

After getting through the first weeks of the competition relatively unscathed the Brumbies finally have to make some big changes.

The biggest talking point is starting Speight at outside centre for the injured Kuridrani (seven weeks, AC Joint). Dargaville comes into the side from the bench to takes Speight’s vacant wing spot.

The Brumbies also see changes to the pack with Enever replacing Arnold (one week, minor back injury). Pocock is returning to the starting and open side, pushing  Butler to number 8 and Vaea on the bench.

Cheetahs

The Cheetahs’ Willie le Roux, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Tian Meyer, Carl Wegner, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Coenie Oosthuizen and Danie Mienie all return to the starting line up.

le Roux and Oosthuizen were rested last week due to the world cup year and subsequent agreement with Super Rugby teams and SA Rugby. Former Waratah scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, who missed the first two games of the tour to attend the birth of his second son in Bloemfontein will be playing from the bench.

if only he had someone outside him!

if only he had someone outside him!

Key Match-ups

Coleman v le Roux

Although similar style players le Roux is far more established. His creativity and ability to tear the game open in both broken and structured play make him a nightmare for opposition defenders. le Roux poses a dangerous step that allows him to break the line without losing as much forward momentum as a tackle bust meaning his line breaks to try conversion rate sits him up there with the best in world rugby.

Coleman will need to channel his “inner le Roux” on attack and also pick his positions on defence wisely as he may be fielding some chip kicks.

Alexander v Oosthuizen

I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on in scrums, but these are two internationals going at it tight head though not directly against each other.

The scrum is always an important part of the game and both will be looking to get their team the best attacking platform as well as a few shots at goals, piggy backs up field and if possible, a gift seven-pointer. Both these players are also handy around the field and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either on the score sheet by the end of the night.

Chips Ahead

Chips Ahead

Semi-Serious Prediction

Despite the fact some Brumbies have missed some training sessions this week with their coach and twelve players attending Wallaby meetings in Sydney, and the much greater distraction of the Brumbies being able to play Google Maps Pac-Man on the vast roundabouts of Canberra, I’ve got to back the Brumbies on this one, if only for historical statistics mentioned above.

From an Australian rugby perspective, the Cheetahs are similar to the Force or Rebels in their ability to match up with their more fancied teams, but not be able to do so for the whole 80. They played gallantly last week against the Chiefs and still lost by ten (down by one at the half); they lead the Crusaders into the break only to capitulate in the second half.

The Brumbies have had to make some changes and that will no doubt stifle their attack early on, but coming off the bye and having a weapon of an 8 come on late (that rhymes) just furthers my thoughts that the Brumbies will be better over the whole 80 and close this game out.

After a close half-time score – Brumbies by 15

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ACT Brumbies

Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

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