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Toyota Cheetahs vs Leinster Rugby
Guinness Pro14, Round 4
Toyota Park, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Friday, 22nd September 2017, 20:00 local time (19:00 Irish Time)

TV: Live on Sky Sports Action

Leinster got part one of their South African tour done last week with their third bonus point win of the season. It fit the pattern of the season so far, a poor first-half followed by a more clinical second. The Kings were game, especially at the breakdown but Leinster eventually realised their basic tackling was hopeless and powered through for a number of soft tries. The Kings weren't expected to be competitive and the local crowd stayed well away from it. The official attendance was three thousand, but they were lucky if there was five hundred people in the stands of the massive stadium.

The Cheetah's fared much better attracting an official crowd of nearly fourteen thousand to Toyota Park for their win over Zebre last week. Admittedly, it looked sparser than that and the Cheetahs apparently gave away loads of free tickets but at least there was some atmosphere at the game and the spectators got to enjoy a high scoring 54-39 win for the home team. Of course conceding 39 points to Zebre doesn't bode well, but the Cheetahs do have something about them at least, a big pack and plenty of pace in the back three.

Coach Rory Duncan has made four changes to the team from last week. Springbok Sevens' star Rosco Specman returns after injury to the right wing and Tian Meyer starts at scrum-half. Charles Marais starts at loose head prop and springbok Oupa Mohoje has recovered from an injury and will be starting at number eight.

For Leinster it's a case of shuffling the deck again. The "Visa 2" of Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park come in to start in a backline that also sees the return of Barry Daly on the left wing. Cian Healy, James Tracy, Michael Bent and Mick Kearney come into the front five and Josh van der Flier comes into the back row to make his 50th appearance.

Leinster look a little stretched and this could be their first proper test of the season, but hopefully they'll have enough to earn a fourth win of the season.

Team Lineups

Toyota Cheetahs

Leinster Rugby
Teams Sergeal Petersen 15 Joey Carbery
Rosco Specman 14 Dave Kearney
Francois Venter (C) 13 Noel Reid
William Small-Smith 12 Isa Nacewa (C)
Makazole Mapimpi 11 Barry Daly
Ernst Stapelberg 10 Ross Byrne
Tian Meyer 9 Jamison Gibson-Park

Charles Marais 1 Cian Healy
Torsten van Jaarsveld 2 James Tracy
Tom Botha 3 Michael Bent
Justin Basson 4 Ross Molony
Reniel Hugo 5 Mick Kearney
Paul Schoeman 6 Jordi Murphy
Henco Venter 7 Josh van der Flier
Oupa Mohoje 8 Jack Conan

Replacements Jacques du Toit 16 Sean Cronin
Ox Nche 17 Peter Dooley
Johan Coetzee 18 Andrew Porter
Rynier Bernardo 19 Rhys Ruddock
Junior Pokomela 20
Max Deegan
Shaun Venter 21 Nick McCarthy
Nico Lee 22 Cathal Marsh
Luther Obi 23 Rory O'Loughlin

Not Considered
Due to Injury
Elandre Huggett,
Neil Jordaan,
Steven Meiring,
Gerhard Olivier,
Clinton Swart,
Ruan van Rensburg,
Fred Zeilinga,
Niel Marais

Bryan Byrne,
Tom Daly,
Peadar Timmins,
Robbie Henshaw,
Johnny Sexton,
Tadhg Furlong,
Sean O'Brien,
Jamie Heaslip,
Garry Ringrose,
Richardt Strauss,
Rob Kearney,
Dan Leavy,
Ian Nagle,
Fergus McFadden,
Luke McGrath,
James Ryan
Officials Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2017-09-21