Goosen and Jantjies playing for survival

Flyhalves Johan Goosen and Elton Jantjies will lock horns in Bloemfontein on Saturday as the Cheetahs and the Lions look to prove their worth and save themselves from the Super Rugby chopping block.

The SA Rugby Union has yet to decide which team will make way for the Southern Kings next year, but both the Cheetahs and Lions are under threat.

“The Lions have got a pretty good kicking game with Elton Jantjies there,” said Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss.

“They are a complete outfit and the play a physical game.

“They are also very good in the scrums so we know that they are not going to be a walkover.”

Lions coach John Mitchell opted to include 19-year-old Paul Willemse at lock as the visitors look to up their lineout play.

Mitchell admitted this week that his players were struggling in that department and the Cheetahs pairing of Izak van der Westhuizen and George Earl are expected to put Willemse through his paces.

The Cheetahs loose trio, meanwhile, has been bolstered by the return of Ashley Johnson who will team up with Philip van der Walt and Heinrich Brussow against Lions captain Josh Strauss, Derick Minnie and Cobus Grobbelaar.

The Cheetahs would be out for revenge, Strauss said, after their Lions picked up their only win of the campaign over Naka Drotske’s men in Johannesburg earlier in the season.

“We will be out to set the record straight,” Strauss said.

“We’re playing at home so there is also a matter of pride.”

Jantjies, returning from injury after he started on the bench last week, scored all the points in their previous encounter, setting a new Super Rugby record.

Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen has also impressed so far this season, and he will look to shine for the Bloemfontein outfit.

“We lost to the Lions in the first round because they were the better side. We just didn’t pitch that day,” Strauss said.

“But we are out to rectify what happened in Johannesburg.

“We’re coming from a good overseas tour and a good victory over the Hurricanes, and we will be applying that momentum against the Lions.”

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