Venu: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton.
Kick-off Sat 2 Mar: 19:35 (Local)
2 Mar RSA 08:35
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Chiefs: 15. Gareth Anscombe, 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Augustine Pulu, 8. Fritz Lee, 7. Sam Cane, 6. Liam Messam (c), 5. Brodie Retallick, 4. Michael Fitzgerald, 3. Ben Afeaki, 2. Hika Elliot, 1. Pauliasi Manu. Bench: 16. Rhys Marshall,17. Ben Tameifuna, 18. Craig Clarke, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21. Charlie Ngatai ,22. Patrick Osborne.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14. Willie le Roux, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Frans Viljoen, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Lood de Jager, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane. Bench: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Landman Ligtoring, 19. Boom Prinsloo, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Riaan Smit, 22. Ryno Benjamin.
Chiefs: Home 36 – 14 Highlanders
Away 20 – 8 Reds
Home 25 – 21 Hurricanes
Away 41 – 27 Highlanders (most recent fixture).
Cheetahs: Away 17 – 33 Lions
Home 27 – 26 Stormers
Away 10 – 32 Bulls
Home 22 – 29 Sharks (most recent fixture).
Hosts Chiefs were certainly the best performers of last weekend’s fixtures. Their current form is phenomenal having won 4 of 4 with only one of those results being by less than a 7 point margin. They are deserved favourites. The Cheetahs have had an up and down run of form and this weekend is likely to prove more down yet again. They had the Sharks on the back-foot but that was at home while the Sharks defended a lead. Historically the first match on foreign soil is very challenging with the weather being possibly the Cheetahs’ only silver-lining. The hot conditions should play into their hands with both sides fatiguing toward the end of the match for the game to open up as a result (which suits the Cheetahs running and counter-attacking style of play). Chiefs super-coach Rennie is already rotating players (in only round 3 of the competition!) with Clarke, Kerr-Barlow and Osborne being rested on the bench.
Betting: Outright: 1/11 v.s 9/1
Handicap: -15 v.s +15
Prediction: Its going to be a long and unpleasant day for the Cheetahs in Hamilton. This Chiefs side, even with a number of injuries to their squad whilst resting further players are too good not to put the Cheetahs to the sword. The Cheetahs will do well to come within 2 scores and we prefer the minus H.C. to the plus. Chiefs by a lot!