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Force takes on unpredictable Cheetahs

Saturday, May 10, 2014

PERTH - The Western Force will bank on stability to overcome unpredictability when they take on the Cheetahs in Saturday night's Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein.

The Force are riding high in fifth spot following a dream start to the season, and their finals hopes will get a massive boost if they can beat the lowly Cheetahs and Stormers on their two-game South African tour.

The Cheetahs sit last on the table after managing just two wins and a draw from 11 games.

Over their past eight outings, they've leaked an average of 4.5 tries per game, but they also boast an impressive array of scoring options.

Only the Hurricanes and Chiefs have scored more tries than the Cheetahs' 29 this season.

The Force have only conceded 17 tries - the second-best record in the competition - and skipper Matt Hodgson hopes the team's steely defence will nullify the Cheetahs' attack.

"They're definitely an unpredictable side," Hodgson said of the Cheetahs, who boast a three-match winning streak against the Force.

"On turnover ball, they don't mind chipping it. We've put a few things in place where hopefully we can nullify that.

"We definitely have to get our defence right and stop them scoring because, once they start scoring, they get their confidence back and their game comes together."

The Force have named the same 23-man squad who beat the Bulls 15-9 a fortnight ago. The Cheetahs have been bolstered by the return of Springboks Johan Goosen and Coenie Oosthuizen to their run-on side.

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