Posted on Thursday, 15 Feb 2019
The Toyota Cheetahs are ready to take on Connacht on Saturday, 16 February in Galway. The action kicks off at 19:30 (SA time) with live broadcast on SuperSport, Free Sports, TG4 and eir Sport.
The Toyota Cheetahs will enter the match with confidence after a string of victories pushed them into contention for reaching the knock-out stages for a second successive season. The fact that they have defeated Connacht before and went down against them by a narrow four points in their last outing will also fuel their determination to win.
Connacht, in turn, will be desperate for a change of fortunes after back-to-back defeats, especially with every result set to count in the next few weeks.
Franco Smith’s charges have been superior on attack this season with 366 points scored to Connacht’s 309, but the hosts will look to build on their effective defence to shut them out.
The home side, however, are expected to keep a close eye on Junior Pokomela and Rabz Maxwane, in particular, who top the lineout steals and clean breaks statistics in the competition.
Coach Franco Smith is excited to have new players in the squad. “There are a couple of new players on tour, like Henco Venter, Jacques du Toit and Marnus van der Merwe and others who will bring new energy and new creativity to the team.”
“We need to learn how to be more focused, specially thinking of the last three tries we stood of against the Southern Kings. We would like to come back from tour with a more experience and apply what we’ve learned so far.”
“We have a good team. Players in the team work hard, especially with the new players in the squad. After the last four matches, the hunger is back, the urgency to be the best in their positions - the competitiveness is back and intensity at training is very high.”
Coach Franco Smith has announced his team for the clash with some changes:
The following players are not eligible for team selection due to injury:
Oupa Mohoje (knee), Jamba Ulenga (neck), Joseph Dweba (hamstring), Malcolm Jaer (knee), Benhard Janse van Rensburg (concussion), Aidon Davis (broken leg).
Connacht vs Toyota Cheetahs
The Sportsground, Galway
The referee for the match is Nigel Owens (WRU). He will be assisted by John Lacey (IRFU) and Mike English (WRU). The TMO is Brian MacNeice (IRFU).