Chiefs make 10 changes to face the Cheetahs

Last updated 08:36 04/04/2014
Augustine Pulu
ELEVATED: Augustine Pulu will take the field when the Chiefs meet the Cheetahs this weekend.

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The three players who saved the Chiefs' South African tour have been asked to complete the job against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday (NZ time).

Halfback Augustine Pulu, wing Tim Nanai-Williams and fullback Gareth Anscombe have been elevated to the run-on side after their stunning deeds in Pretoria last weekend.

They were responsible for sparking the remarkable comeback that saw 19 points scored in the final 11 minutes at Loftus Versfeld to claim an unlikely 34-all draw and three valuable championships points.

After the unexpected loss the week before to the Western Force in Perth it was a crucial result, and now the challenge is to get something from the Cheetahs - never an easy assignment on the Highveld despite the Cheetahs' indifferent form.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has continued to shuffle his troops, making 10 changes in the 23.

These include five changes and a positional switch to the starting 15.

Lock Michael Fitzgerald will start at blindside flanker and co-captain Liam Messam will shift from No 6 to No 8, with Sam Cane starting at openside flanker in a new-look back row.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has spent the week identifying where his team went wrong away from home on a dreadful tour, although he hopes some of the momentum gained in the past two matches can flow into their home games.

"We couldn't keep the ball through phases; that was a major factor in the games we have lost so far," Drotske said.

"The second thing is that a lot of 50-50 decisions went against us.

"It is always difficult to win away from home, and if you get three yellow cards and concede 14 to 70 points every time, you have to play catch-up rugby."

CHIEFS: Gareth Anscombe, Tim Nanai-Williams, Andrew Horrell, Tom Marshall, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden (c), Augustine Pulu, Liam Messam (c), Sam Cane, Michael Fitzgerald, Brodie retallick, Matt Symons, Ben Tameifuna, Rhys Marshall, Paulisi Manu. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Jamie Mackintosh, Josh Hohneck, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Anton Lienert-Brown, Mils Muliaina.

CHEETAHS: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Johann Sadie, Rayno Benjamin,  Hennie Daniller, Johan Goosen, Sarel Pretorius, Jean Cook, Lappies Labuschagné, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys,  Lodewyk de Jager, Maks van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss (c), Trevor Nyakane. Reserves: Ryno Barnes, Caylib Oosthuizen, Rossouw de Klerk, Andries Ferreira, Teboho Mohoje, Shaun Venter, Elgar Watts, Howard Mnisi.

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