Cheetahs & Kings thread

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by TRF_stormer2010, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    I thought it good to open a new thread seeing as these sides' inclusion is now official..

    Player transfers (confirmed)
    Please inform me of ones I might miss?

    Cheetahs
    - Raymond Rhule (WP/Stormers) (available to Cheetahs for the remainder of 2017)
    - Sergeal Petersen (WP/Stormers) (available to Cheetahs for the remainder of 2017)
    + Makazole Mapimpi (Kings)
    + Cecil Africa (SA 7s)

    Kings
    - Makazole Mapimpi (Cheetahs)
    - Lionel Cronje (somewhere in Japan)
    - Chris Cloete (Munster)
    - Ross Geldenhuys
    - Irne Herbst
    - Tyler Paul
    - Louis Schreuder
    - Thembelani Bholi
    + Cornal Hendricks (retirement subject to passing a medical exam)


    Having had a look at the Cheetahs line-up for the Currie Cup my 1st impression was they are resting their best players but then I realized that they have lost Cassiem, Venter and Mohoje to the Bokke while Van Jaarsved and Lee are still injured. I am not 100% if they are retaining Mohoje though. I see their Wiki page is way off. I'll take it upon myself to edit that as we get more clarity regarding their player squad in the weeks leading up to the 1st round.

    Seeing as the Rugby Championship clashes with Pro 14 it is starting to look like a master stroke to have let Rhule go and sign up Mapimpi and Africa. I expect Rhule'd be on a tidier sum as well as being unavailable to them for the duration of the Rugby Chamionship. I don't think anyone would have guessed they'd be without both of Cassiem and Mohoje though. And losing Francois Venter with Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Vorster and Mapoe all not selected for the Bokke is a bit of a surprise as well. Certainly to my mind. The Bok squad might look different later on in the competition though and I expect its exactly the likes of these 3 Cheetahs players who are more likely to rotate out. I expect they will be talking to the national coach to release these players if they aren't being used which I would be surprised if all three were. The Cheetahs will be needing their squad.

    I have less hope for the Kings for this season even if they were well above the Cheetahs ITO Super Rugby performances for 2017.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  3. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Well I'm very interested to see the dynamics of the squads for the tournament. The Cheetahs and the Kings are both signed on as franchises for the Pro14, just like they were in Super Rugby, so my guess is that they will be able to have players not just from their own union, but also from other unions, like the Griquas for the Cheetahs, where some of their backups are playing Currie Cup.

    Irne Herbst, who is a Kings contracted player, started for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup this past weekend. Which begs the question, will the Cheetahs and the Kings be allowed to start new contract negotiations with players now that it's a new tournament and that the recent Super Rugby season has been completed?

    We could have the situation where they contract some players who might not have played for them before...
     
  4. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Ja, the chips are up in the air. I am hoping someone makes a move for Johan Goosen even it'll raffle feathers in France and rightly so. The lad is too young and talented to be inactive. The Kings will be a better suit as they are without Cronje whilst the Cheetahs have two able if not spectacular halves in Marais and Zeilinga.

    Looking at the Pro 14 I see Irne Herbst looks to be siged by Zebre? Maybe he is just finishing up for the Bulls?
     
  5. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Oh yeah, I forgot he signed for Zebre.

    Maybe it's a good time for them to sign some of the Varsity Cup players that stood out, and has been playing as backups...
     
  6. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Probably the route they will go in part. I for one am sick of SA teams bleeding proven talent and barely holding up. Seems the Lions are next with Ackermann Jr moving North with Ackermann Sr and Akker van der Merwe moving to the Sharks.

    Speaking of Akker van der Merwe, what a signing that would've been for the Cheetahs. They are in the ideal position to piggy back the expectation/excitement and to start drawing the crowds to their oversized (for them) stadium if they can get a few 'iconic' players in. Akker would've filled the hole left by lost ball carrying front rowers perfectly; WP Nel, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ashley Johson, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane. You need the draw card players and who doesn't love seeing fat men run and throw the odd blind offload or dummy pass if they don't just trample the halfbacks.

    Why not court Heinrich Brussow, Andries Bekker, Jacques and Dewald Potgieter and Frans Steyn? Francois Hougaard, Chris Cloete, Cheslin Kolbe, Lionel Cronje and Ruan Pienaar have also been up for grabs recently. Johan Goosen? Riaan Viljoen. Willie Britz. Get the guys back from Japan. Look at the 7s team. Apparently Cecil Africa is a done deal. Great. Werner Kok? Branco du Preez? Get Philip Snyman back in at center. Those guys are 7s legends but they should be looking for new territory now after winning the last season and with the next Olympics probably beyond most f them. Get Wes Goosen back to SA from the Hurricanes.

    Most of all the Cheetahs need depth of quality at lock though and at least 1 big hard nosed blindside. They have the poorest stats at the line out in SR and that will count against them even more in NH conditions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  7. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    I don't think the Cheetahs would be interested in Akker when their vice captain is Torsten van Jaarsveld, who is one of the better hookers in the country, even though he's Namibian.

    But yeah, I agree with you, We have a lot of stock available for the Cheetahs and Kings to pick from, But I would like them to look at the guys already playing in the NH to move over to them. Because that would essentially make the pool bigger for the Springboks, as many of them aren't now eligible to play for the Bokke.
     
  8. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Van Jaarsveld is decent but not illegible for SA. I suppose if we have 6 teams we can afford a few foreign players. I have gripes with non illegible players in jerseys #2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and 15 though. Just as a general rule those are specialist/valuable positions orpositions we need develop players in for the Bokke (8, 15).
     
  9. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Updated the OP to include Cornal Hendricks as signing with the Kings subject to passing a medical exam. I really do hope the guy is healthy and fit. So many talented players out of the scene due to illness and injury it makes me unhappy.

    Its a bit silly playing musical chairs with the winger though;

    Rhule -> WP from the Cheetahs
    Mapimpi -> Cheetahs from the Kings
    Hendricks -> Kings from WP (as his last employer even if he didn't play for us due to illness)

    Meanwhile we lose arguably more important players to the North;

    Cronje, Serfontein, Cloete, Kriel, Ackermann...
     
  10. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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  11. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Well S'bura Sithole has been a regular for the Sharks for past seasons and can play at 12, 13 and wing. He has a lot of pedigree IMHO.

    Gouws and Coetzee and even Majola are all youngsters and are a bit lower on the pecking order with Springboks/potential Springboks ahead of them at the Sharks:
    Hooker: Armand van der Merwe, Franco Marais - Both were part of the South Africa A team that played against France earlier this year.
    Scrumhalf: Cobus Reinach, Michael Claasens - Both Springboks
    No. 8: Dan & Jean Luc Du Preez- Both currently with the Springboks, Keegan Daniel - Former Springbok
     
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  12. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    I rate Sithole as SR level. Possibly on a level to Mapimpi. Probably less electric but well rounded.
     
  13. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. Sounds mildly promising. I don't know if the SARU could have had influence on the Sharks but this move sounds like there is some intent to ensure the SA sides are not whipping boys in the Pro14 and can hopefully give their fans a reason to follow the competition.
     
  14. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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  15. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Another positive sign of the SARU's commitment. It's not their fault players decided to leave the Kings and get some financial security. Very nice quote from that Xander fella about the "bigger picture of SA rugby".

    Are those Bulls guys mainly development players too, or is there anyone who would get into a SR match day 23?
     
  16. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Also youngsters. All of them played for the Bulls in the Supersport Challenge Cup, Dreyer, has played Currie Cup as well as 1 Super Rugby game this year.
     
  17. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    General update:

    Kings:
    Coaching staff has been confirmed as being Davids as head coach being retained with new assistants in Chumani Booi and Louis Koen.

    Cornal Hendricks has failed his medical exam and the Kings have opted not to offer him a contract. Pity.

    More players added to bring the squad up to 40 man strong; Dries van Schalkwyk, Andisa Ntsila, Alshaun Bock, Luzuko Vulindlo and Rosouw de Klerk added.

    My summary:
    Kings were dealt a massive blow since they effectively lost close to their entire SR team but it has to be said they've come a long way in bringing together a squad. It remains to be seen what Davids can get out of them with no settled combinations and so little time. More signings to be expected but I would be cautious and not have expectations of them continuing with the surprising form they showed at SR.

    Cheetahs:
    Though the Cheetahs are losing both Sergeal Petersen and Raymond Rhule to WP they will have use of them for the rest of 2016 supposedly.

    Cheetahs' lead flyhalves in Neil Marais and Fred Zeilinga both out with shoulder and hip operations respectively for an unconfirmed period. ack ups in Tiaan Meyer also out with a shoulder op and Clinton Swart injured his knee. Cecil Africa touted as being considered to play back up at 10 in this crisis with Ryno Eksteen expected to take responsibility.

    My summary:
    Cheetahs should be seen as competition IMO. They will come in battle hardened from CC while one would expect Euro sides to be rusty? And long term will be getting back their few Bokke and a few key injured players not least regular captain and 1st choice hooker Van Jaarsveld and their 2 1st choice flyhalves. Look out for Mapimpi. The man seems to have not missed a step going from the Kings to the Cheetahs and scored a hat trick against the Bulls on the weekend.

    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/hendricks-fails-medical-at-kings-20170821
    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/kings-add-booi-koen-to-coaching-staff-20170821
    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/cheetahs-kings-in-mad-rush-to-be-pro-14-ready-20170819
    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/CurrieCup/sharks-loan-4-players-to-kings-20170817
     
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  18. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    The European teams tend to take a few weeks of fully integrate all of their internationals back into the side, this might help makeshift SA sides be competitive in those first few weeks. Only Leinster in my opinion have the squad depth to compete hard without their internationals.
     
  19. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    I really hope so. The most valuable thing SA can bring to the table in Europe is greater depth in quality leading to a better rugby product. Our TV money is in my view a minimum requirement to make up for the travel factor. If these two teams don't bring the necessary competitiveness the idea of having SA join Euro rugby on a larger scale could die in its infancy. As is these are our worst teams with the one depleted by injury to a sizable extent and the other building their squad from scratch. I have no idea what to expect. I do expect though that even if they lose a number of matches they should be entertaining to watch at least.
     
  20. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    The Kings are starting to assemble a decent squad here. Those last additions are all Super Rugby level players. Great to see Ntsila getting the nod, he impressed me during the Super Rugby tournament
     
  21. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Agreed. Ntsila is an incredible athlete at 8. Reminds me a lot of a young Spies. Tall, rangy and has the pace of a wing. Sadly he also has the 50/50 hands of Spies seemingly but maybe he can outgrow that.

    What they will need is for the pack to hold up as a unit and for 2 or 3 players to have break out seasons out of fringes like they had with Cloete/Mapimpi/Cronje. There certainly is every reason to hold out hope that might be the case. I liked the look of Penxe for the u20s earlier the year. Banda is still there. I think between Sithole, Nel and Vulindlo they should have a midfield that is dangerous on attack without going to pieces going backward (I hope). All in all the feeling I get is they have dangerous runners and should be looking to keep ball in hand (if they can manage to be accurate on their own rucks) or run off turn overs (I'd back them to go from deep as well) nd really try to attack the opposition rucks. If anything they need another Cloete.
     
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