Not since the four-point squeaker (23-19) in March 2006 have Hurricanes left Cape Town victorious.
Despite being put under pressure in their set-pieces against the Sharks last week, there were plenty of encouraging signs for the Hurricanes in their first-up 9-2 loss in Durban.
The Hurricanes defended well at times and created several opportunities that could have turned the contest prior to the Sharks’ match-clinching intercept try with 15 minutes to play.
Similarly, the Stormers will be eager to bounce back from their 10-34 loss away to the Lions at Ellis Park – a game that turned into a horror show for the to the men from Cape Town.
The Stormers dominated the Lions in the territory and possession statistics, but the Lions took their chances – 29 points from the educated boot of Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff (including three drop-goals) the undoing of the Stormers.
The Stormers, the best defensive team in the competition in recent seasons, conceded an early 0-19 deficit and failed to recover.
The Hurricanes have won at least one of their two matches on their South African tour for each of the last three years, and they bounced back to win their second match after losing their first in both their last two trips.
Last year in the Republic they lost to the Bulls (14-48) and then beat the Cheetahs (39-34). In 2012 they lost to the Stormers (26-39) and defeated the Lions (30-28).
The key areas in this match will be the set-pieces and the breakdowns.
An obvious work-on for the Hurricanes from the Sharks match will be at scrum time, where they were undone by an-all Springbok front row, and which the big Stormers pack will also target.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted they can’t afford a repeat of last week’s disastrous start.
“One has to make sure we start well in every game,” Coetzee told a media briefing this week.
“Hopefully we are over the first-game jitters now, settle down, get stuck into our [game] plan and force our [game] plan onto the opposition.”
Coetzee hinted that the Lions blitzkrieg forced his team into unfamiliar tactics – playing more with the ball in hand that kicking for goal and building pressure.
“The situation would have been different if we had started better, then we could have kicked penalties at posts instead of chasing the game,” Coetzee said.
He added that hopefully they have learnt their lesson this past weekend.
“We nailed it in [set the bar] very low and we have to improve by 40 to 50 percent in all departments,” the Stormers coach said.
“There are no excuses, we know now what it takes to be ready for Super Rugby.
“I was pretty happy with out set pieces, we just couldn’t hold onto the ball when we were attacking.”
The battle of the breakdown could also hold sway.
Hurricanes openside flank Jack Lam and No.8 Blade Thomson both stood out against the Sharks, while the Stormers loose forward trio of flanks Siya Kolisi (10 Tests) and Schalk Burger (68 internationals), along with No.8 Duane Vermeulen (16) are experienced campaigners.
It will also be the clash of the captains in midfield between Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith and Stormers midfield maestro Jean de Villiers.
2013: Stormers won 18-16, Palmerston North
2012: Stormers won 39-26, Cape Town
2010: Stormers won 37-13, Cape Town
2009: Hurricanes won 34-11, Wellington
2008: Stormers won 20-12, Cape Town
2007: Stormers won 30-17, Palmerston North
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Ryno Eksteen.
Hurricanes: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 John Schwalger, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 James Marshall.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)