The Toyota Cheetahs will be facing Ospreys in their last match of 2019 on Saturday, 30 November.
The match at The Gholl in Neath, Wales kicks off at 21:35 (SA time). Live on SuperSport 1, eir sport 2, Premier Sports, and DAZN.
The two sides have met on four previous occasions in the Guinness PRO14 with Toyota Cheetahs only victory being 44-25 at Toyota Stadium in September 2017.
“We want to win this game big time and for several reasons,” said William Small-Smith. “Those first three games that we played after we won the Currie Cup final there was great hype around us and we want to get that back. We want to be in the play-offs and in the semi-final, so this is a crucial game for us.”
The Toyota Cheetahs are currently third, but there isn’t much separating them from the team ahead of them, Ulster, and Glasgow Warriors, who are just behind them on the log.
Small-Smith says that the timing of this game makes it even more imperative for the Toyota Cheetahs to win. “We go into a quite lengthy break now and we don’t want it to be spoiled by the memory of a defeat that hangs over you in your time off,” says Small-Smith. “This recent break was good for us. But we don’t want to go into the break feeling like we didn’t do our best in our last game."
This is the Ospreys first visit to The Gnoll for a Guinness PRO14 match since they beat Edinburgh there 29-12 in March 2005. It is interesting to note that The Gnoll, which is the home ground of Neath was the scene of one of the most tempestuous Springbok games of the post-isolation era when they toured there under Kitch Christie in 1994 so there is plenty of history to a small venue that is sure to have plenty of atmosphere.
Coach Hawies Fourie announced the team with several changes from the last match against Cardiff on 9 November:
• The front row is Luan de Bruin, Wilmar Arnoldi and Boan Venter. Marnus van der Merwe and Reinach Venter will be providing cover on the bench.
• Chris Massyn will be making his Guinness PRO14 debut on flank with Gerhard Olivier providing cover on the bench.
• Aidon Davis will be making his return to play on eight man after an injury
• Clayton Blommetjies moves to left wing with Craig Barry on right wing
• Chris Smith will be making his Guinness PRO14 debut when he sets foot to field.
The following players are not eligible for team selection due to injury: Justin Basson (knee), Charles Marais (bicep), Arnanos Coetzee (quad) and Joseph Dweba (knee)
Players on suspension: Dries Swanepoel, Jasper Wiese.
Ospreys vs Toyota Cheetahs
30 November 2019. Kick-off: 21:35 (SA Time)
1. Boan Venter
2. Wilmar Arnoldi
3. Luan de Bruin
4. Sintu Manjezi
5. Walt Steenkamp
6. Chris Massyn
7. Junior Pokomela
8. Aidon Davis
9. Ruan Pienaar (C)
10. Tian Schoeman
11. Clayton Blommetjies
12. Benhard Janse van Rensburg
13. William Small-Smith
14. Craig Barry
15. Rhyno Smith
16. Marnus van der Merwe
17. Reinach Venter
18. Erich de Jager
19. JP du Preez
20. Gerhard Olivier
21. Tian Meyer
22. George Whitehead
23. Chris Smith
The referee for the match is Joy Neville (IRFU, 6th competition game). She will be assisted by Mike English (WRU) and Oisin Quinn (IRFU). The TMO is Simon McDowell (IRFU).
The team will be returning to South Africa on Sunday, arriving in Bloemfontein on Monday, 2 December. Their next match is on 4 January against Zebre at 17:00(SA time) in Parma, Italy.