Brumbies v Cheetahs

Crusaders v Reds

Canberra Stadium, Sunday 4.10pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 3, 2012 – Brumbies 24 bt Cheetahs 23 at Canberra StadiumHead-to-head: Played 7. Brumbies 5, Cheetahs 2In Canberra: Played 4, Brumbies 4, Cheetahs 0Referee:  Glen Jackson (NZL)TV: Live, FoxSports 2TAB:Sportsbet: Brumbies $1.28, Cheetahs $3.50

Steve Samuelson writes:  The Cheetahs have never beaten the Brumbies in Canberra but came mighty close last year when they lost by a point. The likely return of halfback Nic White is a boost for the Brumbies who will play the Bulls next week should they win.

AAP writes: The Brumbies are looking to bounce back following last week’s stale 21-15 loss to the Western Force. Expect some nerves in this match. It’s the first time the Brumbies have made the finals since they won the competition in 2004, and the Cheetahs’ first ever crack at the play offs. To steady the Brumbies’ ship coach Jake White has returned veteran flanker George Smith to the starting line-up at the expense of Colby Faingaa.

The Cheetahs will be feeling nice and fresh after last week’s bye, yet they may not be the better for it, as the recent June break means both sides have played just two Super Rugby games in the seven weeks leading up to this knock-out qualifier. Both sides are heading into this match with a disappointing loss in their last two starts, yet the Brumbies are great at rebounding after a poor performance. They’ve lost back-to-back games just twice since coach Jake White took hold of the reins in 2012. The Cheetahs meanwhile will be looking to continue their domination of Australian teams. They’ve beaten the four other Australian franchises this year to take their tally to 10 wins from 12 games against Aussie opponents over the last three seasons. Yet they’ve never won in Canberra.

BRUMBIES: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Clyde Rathbone, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (capt), George Smith, Peter Kimlin, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior, Andrew Smith, Joe Tomane.

CHEETAHS: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Riaan Smit, Piet van Zyl, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Heinrich Brussow, Ligtoring Landman, Lodewyk de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Coenie Oosthuizen. Reserves: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Waltie Vermeulen, Boom Prinsloo, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Ryno Benjamin

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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