The Stormers starting XV for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby showdown against the Blues shows only one change from last weekend, at lock where Jurie Van Vuuren comes in for the injured Jean Kleyn. Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi is back in the team and will start from the bench in the place of Van Vuuren, with Rynardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes providing lock cover. Newlands is the Blues’ second favourite hunting ground in South Africa – they’ve won 57.1% of their matches in Cape Town (4 from 7), which is only bettered by the 60% they’ve won against the Lions in Johannesburg (3 from 5).
The Stormers have won three home matches against the Blues and on every occasion they scored more than 25 points. Last week, both the Stormers and the Blues managed a 100% success rate in the scrums. Allister Coetzee’s side has won 21 of their last 25 home matches, a run that dates back to the start of the 2012 season.
On the contrary, the Blues have not won in South Africa in almost three years, dating back five matches to 10 March 2012 when they beat the Bulls 29-23 in Pretoria. Coetzee says: ‘Our youngsters put their hands up last week and I expect the same from them again this Saturday, at home at DHL Newlands where we have a very good and proud record. It’s important that the players understand the need to back up last week’s performance against a very experienced Blues team. We’re expecting a massive onslaught from the Blues on Saturday, but it’s great to be back at home and we look forward to being in front of our home fans at DHL Newlands.”
The teams are:
Stormers: Cheslin Kolbe, Johnny Kotze, Juan De Jongh, Damian De Allende, Dillyn Leyds, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen (captain), Michael Rhodes, Rynhardt Elstadt, Ruan Botha, Jurie Van Vuuren, Vincent Koch, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Oli Kebble, Wilco Louw, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Huw Jones
Blues: Charles Piutau, Ben Lam, Hamish Northcot, Francis Saili, Tevita Li / Lolaga Visinia, Ihaia West, Jimmy Cowan, Jerome Kaino (captain), Brendon O’Connor / Luke Braid / Akira Ioane, Steven Luatua, Hayden Triggs / Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis / Tuipulotu, Angus Ta’avao / Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons, Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: Matt Moulds / Greg Pleasants-Tate, Ofa Tu’ungafasi / Sam Prattley, Faumuina / Ta’avao, Tuipulotu / Triggs / Bekhuis, Braid / Ioane / O’Connor, Jamison Gibson-Park, Dan Bowden, Visinia / Li.