mapoe fit for shark BATTLE

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

IT'S do or die for the Cheetahs, who face Absa Currie Cup defending champions the Sharks in the semifinals of this year's competition at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday at 3pm.

The Free State side will go into this match as underdogs, especially taking on the star-studded Sharks in their own waters.

The Cheetahs made their critics eat humble pie when they sneaked into the semifinals of the domestic competition after four back-to-back hidings at the start of the second round.

They have nothing to lose while the hosts will be under enormous pressure to win the game at all costs.

First, the Sharks are the defending champions and they are playing in front of their enthusiastic fans who expect nothing but a win.

On the other hand, it remains to be seen whether the young Cheetahs squad will be intimidated by Springbok captain John Smith and company.

The Cheetahs have made a few changes to the squad that played last weekend against Boland in Wellington.

Right wing Lionel Mapoe, Absa Currie Cup player of the month for September, has been cleared for the semifinal after picking up a knock at the weekend.

Sharks coach John Plumtree will announce his squad today.

The Cheetahs team: Hennie Daniller, Lionel Mapoe, Corne Uys, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, JP Joubert, Ashley Johnson, Frans Viljoen, Heinrich Brussow, David de Villiers, Nico Breedt, WP Nel, Richardt Strauss, Wian du Preez.

Replacements: Coenie Oosthuizen, Izak van der Westhuizen, Hendro Scholtz, Kabamba Floors, Tewis de Bruyn, Louis Strydom, Fabian Juries.