Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2019 Match Preview: Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers

Match Preview: Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers

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The other major clash this weekend will play itself out in Durban when the Cell C Sharks will host the DHL Stormers on Saturday.

The Sharks had the perfect start to the season and sitting nicely on top of the log after two weeks.

They have put up their hands in the early stages this season and will be very difficult to beat at home.

The Stormers will come into the match with some confidence after the late try in last weeks clash with the Lions.

Although there was some concerns over the availability of Springbok wing Sbu Nkosi, the coach did not need to make any changes to his side that beat the Blues last week

‘It’s just reward for the outstanding effort each player put in, and as that old saying goes, ‘Don’t fix what ain’t broke.’ he said

It seems that the Sharks as a team have found their stride this year and even though it is still way to early they do look like a team that can challenge for the title this time around.

“We couldn’t ask for much better that the two big wins, it’s a confidence booster for us going into this week’s match against the Stormers,” explains Cell C Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am of the season so far.

Like us, the Stormers have a big pack and a good backline, we know we need to pitch up as far as physicality goes.”

The Stormers had to fight for 85 minutes last week to get their first win of the season and it will serve them well going into the match.

It is never easy in Durban and they will have to put an even better performance in this week if they want to upset the Sharks.

Good news for Stormers supporters is that Eben Etzebeth will start this week.

It is a direct swap with Chris van Zyl who will move to the bench. We also see Herscel Jantjies getting a start at nine with Justin Phillips on the bench as cover.

In the backline we have Dan Du Plessis getting a shot with Ruhan Nel moving also to the bench.

We know that we will have to be sharp in every area if we are to get the result we want in Durban,’ said coach Robbie Fleck.

‘Our focus is on being as accurate as possible so that we are able to impose ourselves and our plans on the opposition.’

Like with the Lions v Bulls match we have a few battles with in the battle between these two teams.

At Fullback you have the future taking each other on with Fassi and Willemse. On the wings you have Nkosi and Mapimpi against Sp Marais and Sergeal Petersen.

The one we look forward to is in the midfield with Am and Esterhuizen taking on De Allende and Du Plessis.

Up front there is plenty for the forwards to play for with Notshe and Du Preez sizing each other up and the front row battle will be something special for those who love the dark art of rugby.

The Sharks have won the last four of the five meetings between the two teams.

At scrum-time the Sharks have been very good this season and have a 100% record so far after the first two rounds.

One of the funniest stats between these two teams are that in eight of the last nine Super Rugby games between the Sharks and Stormers have seen the home side score the opening try of the game; however, the side to score the first try in that span has gone on to lose on four occasions.

Prediction: Although we think the Stormers will be better, we still feel the Sharks will take the win by 11

Teams:

Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phendulani Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Stormers – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements:16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Dillyn Leyds.

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