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The Cheetahs, known for sponsorship reasons as the Toyota Cheetahs, is a South African rugby union team that played Super Rugby between 2006 and 2017, before joining the Pro14 competition prior to the 2017–18 season. They are based at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Cheetahs
Logo Cheetahs Rugby.svg
UnionSouth African Rugby Union
Emblem(s)Cheetah
Founded2005; 14 years ago (2005)
LocationBloemfontein, Free State, South Africa
RegionFree State
Northern Cape
Ground(s)Free State Stadium
(Capacity: 46,000)
Director of RugbyFranco Smith
Coach(es)Franco Smith
Captain(s)Oupa Mohojé
League(s)Pro14
2017–18Quarterfinalist
3rd (Conference A)
Team kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.fscheetahs.co.za
Rugby football current event.svg Current season

The franchise area encompasses the western half of the Free State province, the same as that of provincial Currie Cup side the Free State Cheetahs. Between 2006 and 2015, the Griffons from the eastern half of the Free State province and Griquas from the Northern Cape province were Cheetahs franchise partners, but this ended prior to the 2016 Super Rugby season.[1]

The Cheetahs was one of the two new franchises that entered the expanded Super 14 competition in 2006, the other being Australia's Western Force. The Central Union was awarded the fifth South African franchise over the SEC franchise in April 2005. In its first season the Cheetahs did surprisingly well, finishing tenth in the final standings, out of 14 sides. Prior to being accepted into the 2006 Super 14 season, the Cheetahs areas were represented as a part of the Cats franchise. In addition, before South Africa entered franchises into the Super 14, the Free State Currie Cup side competed in the 1997 Super 12 season.[2]

Contents

StripEdit

The primary strip for the Toyota Cheetahs is an orange jersey with a white collar and white trim. Black shorts with orange socks and white trim. The colours are representative of the Free State Currie Cup side; orange and white (Free State Cheetahs)

The alternative jersey is the same design, though it is a white jersey with an orange collar and orange trim. Black shorts with orange socks and white trim.

HistoryEdit

Prior to South Africa entering franchises into the then Super 12, the domestic Currie Cup sides competed instead. The Free State Cheetahs, one of the sides that make up the current Central Cheetahs, competed in one Super 12 season in 1997.[2] The Free State played 11 matches, winning 5 and losing 6. They placed 7th on the end of season standings.

Proposals by the Central Union franchise and the SEC (Southern and Eastern Cape) franchise were studied for the allocation of a fifth Super Rugby team licence. The Central Union emphasized points to the SARU such as that the region is second only to the Western Province in terms of producing players for the national side. The Central Union noted that they have a strong and stable fanbase that would be able to meet financial and administrative responsibilities and demands of a Super 14 rugby side.[3]

In mid April 2005, the South African Rugby Union announced that the Central Unions franchise would be its fifth team for the expanded Super 14 competition that would begin in 2006. They were awarded the franchise ahead of the Southern and Eastern Cape (see Southern Spears). In the pre-season of their entrance to the new look Super 14 competition, the Cheetahs played both of the other new franchises, new Australian team; the Western Force and 2007 fellow South African team, the Southern Spears. The Cheetahs proved to be the strongest out of the new sides, demolishing the Spears 48 to nil and soundly defeating the Force in Perth. The Cheetahs played their first game on 10 February, proving they are fighting fit, but were not good enough on the day for the South African Bulls, losing their first official match in Bloemfontein 18 points to 30. The Cheetahs won their first Super 14 game in week two, defeating the Sharks in a thrilling match seeing the Cheetahs win by a single point, 27 to 26. Entering round four of the 2006 season, the Cheetahs were facing the table leaders, the Hurricanes. In a surprise result, the Cheetahs beat the table leaders, thus winning their first home game and proving they deserve to be in the Super 14.[citation needed]

The Cheetahs finally broke their drought in overseas matches with an upset over the New South Wales Waratahs on 19 March 2011.

Following SANZAAR's decision to reduce the number of teams for 2018, the South African Rugby Union announced that the Cheetahs would be one of the teams cut from the 2018 competition. Instead, the Cheetahs joined the previously-northern hemispherean Pro14 competition prior to the 2017–18 season.

StadiaEdit

The Cheetahs' home stadium is the Free State Stadium, previously referred to as Vodacom Park for sponsorship purposes, located in Bloemfontein. The stadium had its capacity increased to 48,000 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is the home of Free State rugby as it is also home to the Free State Cheetahs, a Currie Cup side which produces a large number of players for the Cheetahs franchise. A then-capacity crowd of 37,383 watched the Cheetahs in their first official Super 14 match against the Bulls on 10 February 2006.

The Cheetahs also previously played matches at Griquas Park in Kimberley, the home of the Griqualand West Rugby Union, and at North West Stadium in Welkom, the home of the Griffons Rugby Union.

Season by season recordEdit

Competition Season Cheetahs seasons Top try scorer Top point scorer
Pos Finals P W L D F A -/+ BP Pts Name Tries Name Points
Super 14 2006 10th 13 5 8 0 272 367 –95 7 27   Giscard Pieters 5   Meyer Bosman 81
2007 11th 13 4 8 1 265 342 –77 4 22 3 players 2   Willem de Waal 54
2008 13th 13 1 12 0 255 428 –173 9 13   Jongi Nokwe 7   Conrad Barnard 47
2009 14th 13 2 11 0 213 341 –128 3 11   Jongi Nokwe 6   Jacques-Louis Potgieter 59
2010 11th 13 5 7 1 315 393 –78 4 26   Björn Basson 5   Naas Olivier 112
Super Rugby 2011 11th 16 5 11 0 435 437 –2 12 40   Sarel Pretorius 9   Sias Ebersohn 179
2012 10th 16 5 11 0 391 458 –67 10 38   Willie le Roux 7   Johan Goosen 145
2013 6th Qualifying final 16 10 6 0 382 358 24 6 54   Willie le Roux 6   Burton Francis 62
2014 14th 16 4 11 1 372 527 –155 6 24   Cornal Hendricks 6   Johan Goosen 143
2015 13th 16 4 12 0 247 434 –187 6 22   Boom Prinsloo 8   Joe Pietersen 92
2016 14th 15 4 11 0 377 425 –48 5 21   Sergeal Petersen 9   Fred Zeilinga 79
2017 13th 15 4 11 0 395 551 –156 5 21   Raymond Rhule 6   Fred Zeilinga 108
Pro14 2017–18 3rd Quarter-finals 21 12 9 0 609 554 55 15 63   Makazole Mapimpi 10   Fred Zeilinga 86
2018–19
  • Bold indicates current team player

Current squadEdit

CoachesEdit

CaptainsEdit

RecordsEdit

Pro14 recordsEdit

The Cheetahs' Pro14 records are as follows (updated 11 February 2018):

Team Match Records
Record Opposition Venue Season
Biggest win: Southern Kings Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth 2017–18 24
Heaviest defeat: Munster Thomond Park, Limerick 2017–18 33
Highest score: Zebre Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 54
Most points conceded: Munster Thomond Park, Limerick 2017–18 51
Most tries: Zebre Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 8
Most tries conceded: Munster Thomond Park, Limerick 2017–18 8
Player Match Records
Record Player Opposition Venue Season
Most points by a player: Ernst Stapelberg Leinster Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 18
Most tries by a player: Nico Lee Southern Kings Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth 2017–18 3
Most conversions by a player: Ernst Stapelberg Zebre Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 7
Most penalties by a player: Ernst Stapelberg Leinster Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 4
Ernst Stapelberg Glasgow Warriors Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2017–18 4
Most drop goals by a player: No drop goals yet
Team Season Records
Record Matches Season
Most team points: in 14 matches 2017–18 430
Most team tries: in 14 matches 2017–18 53
Player Season Records
Record Player Season
Most points by a player: Fred Zeilinga 2017–18 79
Most tries by a player: Makazole Mapimpi 2017–18 10
Most conversions by a player: Fred Zeilinga 2017–18 21
Most penalties by a player: Ernst Stapelberg 2017–18 14
Most drop goals by a player: No drop goals yet
Player Career Records
Record Player Seasons
Most appearances: Rynier Bernardo 2017–18 14
Aranos Coetzee 2017–18 14
Charles Marais 2017–18 14
Ox Nché 2017–18 14
Shaun Venter 2017–18 14
Most points: Fred Zeilinga 2017–18 79
Most tries: Makazole Mapimpi 2017–18 10
Most conversions: Fred Zeilinga 2017–18 21
Most penalties: Ernst Stapelberg 2017–18 14
Most drop goals: No drop goals yet

Super Rugby recordsEdit

The Cheetahs' Super Rugby records are as follows:

Team Match Records
Record Opposition Venue Season
Biggest win: Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 75
Heaviest defeat: Hurricanes Westpac Stadium, Wellington 2010 54
Highest score: Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 92
Most points conceded: Brumbies Canberra Stadium, Canberra 2010 61
Hurricanes Westpac Stadium, Wellington 2010 61
Most tries: Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 14
Most tries conceded: Brumbies Canberra Stadium, Canberra 2010 9
Hurricanes Westpac Stadium, Wellington 2010 9
Player Match Records
Record Player Opposition Venue Season
Most points by a player: Meyer Bosman Stormers Newlands Stadium, Cape Town 2006 26
Most tries by a player: Rayno Benjamin Stormers Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2011 3
Sergeal Petersen Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 3
Sarel Pretorius Hurricanes Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2011 3
Paul Schoeman Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 3
Riaan Viljoen Lions Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg 2011 3
Most conversions by a player: Niel Marais Sunwolves Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2016 8
Most penalties by a player: Meyer Bosman Stormers Newlands Stadium, Cape Town 2006 8
Most drop goals by a player: Sias Ebersohn Hurricanes Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2011 2
Riaan Viljoen Brumbies Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 2011 2
Team Season Records
Record Matches Season
Most team points: in 16 matches 2011 435
Most team tries: in 15 matches 2016 47
Player Season Records
Record Player Season
Most points by a player: Sias Ebersohn 2011 179
Most tries by a player: Sergeal Petersen 2016 9
Sarel Pretorius 2011 9
Most conversions by a player: Sias Ebersohn 2011 32
Most penalties by a player: Sias Ebersohn 2011 33
Most drop goals by a player: Sias Ebersohn 2011 2
Naas Olivier 2010 2
Joe Pietersen 2015 2
Riaan Viljoen 2011 2
Player Career Records
Record Player Seasons
Most appearances: Adriaan Strauss 20072014 97
Most points: Johan Goosen 20122014 331
Most tries: Sarel Pretorius 20092015 24
Most conversions: Johan Goosen 20122014 46
Most penalties: Johan Goosen 20122014 70
Most drop goals: Sias Ebersohn 20102011 2
Naas Olivier 20092010 2
Joe Pietersen 2015 2
Riaan Viljoen 20102011 2

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "It's a new generation Cheetah!" (Press release). Cheetahs. 3 December 2015. Archived from the original on 7 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Central Cheetahs". CRFU. Archived from the original on 20 March 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2007.
  3. ^ "TashiTagg". Who Will Get The Fifth Franchise?. Archived from the original on 22 August 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2006.
  4. ^ "Guinness Pro 14 Players". Cheetahs. Retrieved 15 February 2019.

External linksEdit