SUPER RUGBY PREVIEW : Cheetahs vs Brumbies

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The Brumbies will be determined to return to their winning ways when they take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

After being the early pacesetters in the competition, Stephen Larkham’s charges are licking their wounds following a 31-11 defeat to the Stormers in Cape Town last weekend.

That was their first defeat of their campaign and they will be keen to put that result to bed with a clinical victory over the Cheetahs, who they have beaten on six occasions in the last seven matches between these sides.

Despite that loss to the Stormers, the Brumbies are still at the top of the Australian Conference, albeit alongside the Rebels. Both sides have 13 points from four matches but the Brumbies have a superior points difference.

Although the men from Canberra have posted 40 or more points in two of those matches, the Cheetahs have been more competitive in recent seasons with three of the last four matches decided by single figures and they also secured a deserved 47-36 victory in Bloemfontein in 2011.

The Cheetahs are yet to deliver a convincing performance this season. Their only victory of the season was a narrow one by a one-point margin against the Sunwolves in Singapore in Round Three.

They clinched that victory after fighting back from a 20-point deficit early in the second half and apart from a losing bonus-point in their opener against the Jaguares, they have nothing to show from their other fixtures.

Previous results:

2015: Brumbies won 20-3 in Canberra
2014: Brumbies won 27-21 in Bloemfontein
2013: Brumbies won 15-13 in Canberra
2012: Brumbies won 24-23 in Canberra
2011: Cheetahs won 47-36 in Bloemfontein
2010: Brumbies won 61-15 in Canberra
2009: Brumbies won 40-27 in Bloemfontein

The teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Lealiifano (c), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 15:05 local (13:05 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Willie Vos


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