Pro 14: Cheetahs v Scarlets Preview

The Cheetahs will be looking to enhance their chances of qualifying for the Pro 14 semi-finals when they face the Scarlets on Saturday the 2nd of December. 

Following a less than convincing display in Port Elizabeth a week ago, the Scarlets will look to set the record straight when they visit the Toyota Stadium on Saturday. The Cheetahs meanwhile, off the back of a comfortable 33-13 win over Edinburgh, will continue to push for a playoff place in the comforts of home this weekend.

Cheetahs v Scarlets | Saturday 2 December | Toyota Stadium | 19:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Cheetahs 2/11 | Draw 25/1 | Scarlets 38/10

Cheetahs

The men from Bloemfontein have certainly proved their worth so far this Pro14 season, with an impressive string of results putting them in pole position to qualify for the quarterfinals at season's end. Heading into Round-10, the Cheetahs sit third in Conference A, six-points ahead of the next-placed Cardiff Blues, and six-points behind Munster. While they may be unlikely to pip Munster to second on the standings, their fantastic run means that their playoff destiny really is in own their hands; only a horror run of results will see them crash and burn from here on out.

That said, there is still a long way to go yet, and they will come up against the defending champions Scarlets at the Toyota Stadium this Saturday. With Wales and South Africa set to lock horns in Cardiff this weekend, neither side will be allowed to call upon their international players, which may just be an opportunity for Rory Duncan's boys to come away with maximum points. Scarlets were nearly upstaged by the Kings last week, and will be vulnerable this time around... I'm expecting the Cheetahs to do what their South African counterparts couldn't on December-2nd.

Scarlets

The men from Llanelli are a different prospect entirely without the likes of Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams and co. Truth be told, they were very lucky to come away from PE with a win last week, and may just come unstuck in Bloemfontein. Their forwards were completely outclassed by a very ordinary Kings pack, while their defending left a lot to be desired. If they give the Cheetahs the same amount of space as they did the Kings, then they could be in for an embarrassing afternoon.

Nonetheless, this is a championship-winning side (more or less) who will be hurting from their showing last week. While I'm expecting a much-improved forward display, as well as a seriously more aggressive defence, they may struggle in the City of Roses, and allow for the likes of Leinster and Ulster to narrow the gap in Conference B.

Verdict: Cheetahs 2/11
Without their seasoned internationals, the Conference B-leaders are a very different team. If it does rain as expected, they may just pip it, but on the basis of their performance last week it really is the Cheetahs' game to lose.

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