Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2019 Match Preview – DHL Stormers v Crusaders

Match Preview – DHL Stormers v Crusaders


The Crusaders are in South Africa and after last weeks demolition of the Vodacom Bulls they turn their attention to the DHL Stormers this weekend at Newlands.

Even though the Crusaders did not play the best match this season against the Bulls they still able to score seven tries to one.

The Stormers have again not been able to put consistant performances together this season and this weekend they come up against the biggest test.

When one glance at the Stormers team you would think that this team should be at the top of the competition but they hover at the number 10 position on the log.

This week coach Robbie Fleck decided to give Josh Stander the ten jumper who has proven a much more of a allrounder than Du Plessis who has struggle with form all year long.

He will have Jantjies in his inside who has been a revelation himself at nine. One can only imagine how good they would have been at this stage if they got more time on the park.

In the midfield Fleck went with De Allende and Engelbrecht with Willemse, Senatla and Leyds making up the back three.

Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit are back in the pack this week with Jaco Coetzee that complete the loose trio.

In the up front we have and all Springbok front row in Kitshoff, Mbonambi and Louw. Ntubeni, Malherbe and Fourie will cover them on the bench.

In the second row we have Etzebeth and Wiese completing the tight five for this weekend.

The Crusaders will welcome back their captain Sam Whitelock.

Coach Robertson made three changes to his side. Apart from Whitelock, he also gave Moody a rest this week which means Bower will start at loosehead and Allan will provide cover off the bench.

We also see Ethan Blackadder get an opportunity to start on the blindside, with Jordan Taufua shifting to the bench.

Robertson kept his backline the same as last weekend which sees the incredible Mo’unga at flyhalf.
Playing against the Crusaders means you have to be on your game 100% and any mistake will surely be punished. One can only hope that the Stormers braintrust would have seen kicking the ball down field brings more danger than relief.
We can expect a lot of pressure on Stander as he will be expected to control the game on attack for the Stormers but also make sure they play in the right side of the field.
It is not just a Stormers problem but a South African problem, so defence needs to be 100% otherwise they may have the same long afternoon as what the Bulls had last week.
It will all begin in the forwards and at least there the Stormers have the matching of the champions, but what they do with it is what will count and one can only hope Robbie Fleck has a better game plan for his players than the last couple of weeks.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
  • The Crusaders have won 15 of their last 17 games against the Stormers in Super Rugby (L2), including each of their last seven in a row.
  • The Stormers have won just three of their last 16 Super Rugby games against sides from New Zealand (L13), although each of those three victories in that spell did come at home.
  • The Crusaders have won their last five Super Rugby matches on the bounce in South Africa; only once in Super Rugby history has any overseas team enjoyed a longer winning streak in South Africa (Blues – 6 wins from 2002 to 2005).
  • The Crusaders (55) have scored the most tries of any team this Super Rugby season, while the Stormers (22) have scored the fewest.
  • Only Duane Vermeulen (Bulls, 20) has won more turnovers in Super Rugby 2019 than the Crusaders’ Matt Todd (16).

Previous Results:

Prediction: Even at home, we can not see any other result than Crusaders by 20+


Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor

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