Highlanders vs Cheetahs Super Rugby preview

Round eight in the 2011 Super Rugby tournament starts in Dunedin with the Highlanders hosting the Cheetahs on Friday.


Surprisingly the Cheetahs have never beaten the Highlanders in all five of their attempts even though the Cheetahs have had home advantage on three occasions.


On average the Highlanders score 26 points against the Cheetahs who score 18 points on average. In New Zealand however the average scores swing much more in favour of the Highlanders at 27-13.


This match is the Cheetahs final match on tour before they return home to face the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein. While their tour finally yielded an away victory the Cheetahs have been ravaged again by injury and this week they lost flanker Philip van der Walt who has been replaced by Leon Karemaker.


The Highlanders on the other hand are still riding high and will be going into the match full of confidence having beaten the Brumbies 26-20 last weekend. So far this season the Highlanders have played six and won four which is why they have made on change to the starting xv.


Last year when the team’s met the Highlanders won 24-31 and Israel Dagg was one of the stars of the match. He has since joined the Crusaders.


The Bookies have given the  Cheetahs a 13 point start for this match – with an offer of Bet 10 and Get 20. We think the Cheetahs will be a little distracted by the trip home and the Highlanders should win by 9.


Last five results
27 Feb 2010 Highlanders v Cheetahs 31-24 Bloemfontein
21 Mar 2009 Highlanders v Cheetahs 32-8 Dunedin
02 May 2008 Highlanders v Cheetahs 31-28 Bloemfontein
30 Mar 2007 Highlanders v Cheetahs 21-17 Invercargill
25 Feb 2006 Highlanders v Cheetahs 17-12 Bloemfontein


Highlanders overall record against the Cheetahs.
Played 5, Wins 5 , Losses 0 , Draws 0


Match Officials
Referee: Nathan Pearce (Australia)
Assistant referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Television match official: Richard Kelly (New Zealand)


Teams


Highlanders :1 , Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 , Jason Rutledge 3, Chris King 4,Jarrad Hoeata 5 , Josh Bekhuis 6 , Adam Thomson 7 , Alando Soakai 8 , Nasi Manu 9 ,Jimmy Cowan (VC) 10,Colin Slade 11 , Siale Piutau 12, Shaun Treeby 13 ,Kendrick Lynn 14,Kade Poki 15 , Ben Smith


Replacements : 16. Mo Schwalger 17. David Te Moana 18. Tom Donnelly 19. Nick Crosswell 20. Aaron Smith 21. Robbie Robinson 22. James Paterson


Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Wilmaure Louw, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (c), 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuisen.


Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Riaan Smit.

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