Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
12 Jul 2014
4:00 pm

Cheetahs out to ruin Franco’s party

Rudolph Jacobs

The Cheetahs are planning to ruin the farewell party the Lions have got planned for lock Franco van der Merwe.

FILE PICTURE: Elton Jantjies of the Lions during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Lions at Growthpoint Kings Park on March 08, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

The Cheetahs have beaten all local opposition this year’s edition of Super Rugby – except the Lions.

And now they are chasing a Lions scalp at Ellis Park this afternoon in their final outing of the competition after the Lions beat them 21-20 in the opening round back in February.

“We had the opportunity to beat all the other South African teams once, except for the Lions,” said Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss.

“Hopefully we can end off on a high, but it won’t be easy, especially if you look at their last performance.”

Both teams come off a win, the Cheetahs beating the Sharks 27-20 last weekend and the Lions winning 34-17 against the Rebels.

There will also be a lot of emotion present today with three players set to star in their 50th game – Johann Sadie for the visitors and Elton Jantjies, pictured, and Lionel Mapoe for the Lions.

The Lions also bid farewell to Jantjies (Japan) and lock Van der Merwe (Ireland) while at least nine players are loosening ties with the visitors.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley said they know what to expect from a Cheetahs side who received a massive confidence boost with seven players featuring for the Boks in their last Test.

“We have had some big highs this year and the win against the Stormers stands out as well as the last win against the Bulls, while the second half against the Highlanders was a really good performance.”

The Lions skipper said they are aiming even higher.

“A seventh win will be great, while next year we want to be involved in the play-offs,” he said.

Kick-off is at 5.05pm.