Cheetahs stalk Sharks

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

Log leaders Cheetahs have vowed to redeem their dented image at the expense of the Sharks whom they meet in a Absa Currie Cup Premier Division game in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

This follows the Free Staters' 20-34 defeat to a resurgent Western Province at Newlands at the weekend.

It was their first defeat of the season for the joint champions, Cheetahs, who had up to then registered a remarkable unbeaten 11 victories in succession.

Coach Naka Drotske said their weekend loss was a wake-up call for his troops.

"This will be a different ball game altogether on Saturday and my boys will be motivated by their vocal fans to send the Durbanites packing.

"This game against the Sharks is very crucial in two folds - to keep the unbeaten record on home soil intact and cement our chances of a home semifinal,'' said Drotske.

There will be one changes to the side that lost to Western Province.

Flank Kapamba Floors will be in the starting line-up while Jonathan Mokuena will take a rest.

Second-placed Sharks are still on cloud nine after their impressive 26-18 win over the Bulls at Loftus in Tshwane last Friday.

The Cheetahs have collected 51 points from 12 games and are leading the Sharks with six points from the same number of matches.

On the same day, the Lions have a mammoth task when they invade Kimberley to face the in-form Wildeklawer Griquas.

Peter Maimane, Lions' technical analyst, said: "This is a must-win game for the Gautengers.

" Any slip-up will definitely shatter our dreams of qualifying for the semifinals.''

Other fixtures: Friday: Falcons v Western Province (Brakpan). Saturday: Boland v Bulls (Border).

First Division: Eagles v Puma; Mighty Elephants v Griffons