Ashley Johnson of the Cheetahs. Photo: Getty Images
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, Saturday 11pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 1 2012 - Lions 27 bt Cheetahs 25 in Johannesburg
Head-to-head: Played 8 Cheetahs 4 Lions 4
Referee: Mark Lawrence (RSA)
TV: Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet: Cheetahs $1.45 Lions $2.65
Greg Growden writes: Not that long ago, the Cheetahs were unwatchable. But now they are an energetic, multi faceted football team, who know how to attack. Robbed in Canberra, they got their rewards in Wellington. Now back within sniffing distance of the legendary Bloemfontein waterfront, another win is imminent.
AAP writes: This one will be all-out war. With uncertainty still surrounding whether or not the last-placed South African team will be relegated this season, the Lions (1-4) and Cheetahs (2-4) are desperate for victory. The Lions prevailed 27-25 in round one, but they've endured misery and heartbreak both on the scoreboard and on the injury front ever since. All four of the Lions' losses have been by 12 points or less, but that will be of little consolation to coach John Mitchell, who has made nine positional and personnel changes this week. The Cheetahs, fresh from last week's win over the Highlanders, are far more settled, making just one positional change.
CHEETAHS: Hennie Daniller, Ryno Benjamin, Robert Ebersohn, Andries Strauss, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Piet van Zyl, Philip van der Walt, Ashley Johnson, Heinrich Brüssow, Izak van der Westhuizen, George Earle, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss (c), Coenie Oosthuizen. Reserves: Hercu Liebenberg, Trevor Nyakane, Andries Ferreira, Justin Downey, Tewis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn, Philip Snyman.
LIONS: Jaco Taute, Deon van Rensburg,Alwyn Hollenbach, Butch James, Andries Coetzee, Elton Jantjies, Tian Meyer, Joshua Strauss (c), Derick Minnie, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, Paul Willemse, Pat Cilliers, Martin Bezuidenhout, Caylib Oosthuizen. Reserves: Callie Visagie, Ruan Dreyer, Marius Coetzer, Etienne Oosthuizen, Michael Bondesio, Lionel Mapoe, James Kamana.