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Do officials crave the limelight too?

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Rohan_Hoffman50

Officials

Officials are starting to act like neglected kids who have always sought attention with atrocious calls and decisions every week. It is as if they want to be in the headlines every week and for all the wrong reasons. Some may call the criticism unfair but its warranted with the number of high profile howlers growing by the week. Soon the question of match fixing will become part of the rugby conversation.  Instead of focusing on the rugby, most press conferences, around the world have resulted in talk of the referee decisions. Blues coach Tana Umaga the latest to highlight some inconsistencies. There were many a dubious call that are yet to be put to the fore.

  1. The neck roll on Schalk Ferreira by Sam Whitelock has yet to be cited and one has to wonder what the problem is. A result of the Southern Kings front row heading back home.
  2. It was almost the howler of the year for me, Jaco Peyper was about to send the Brumbies to the bin instead of the shower for punches. Had sanity not prevailed the Brumbies could have got away with that one.
  3. The punch by Nizaam Carr was missed amidst the punching row.
  4. Dillyn Lleyds’ try was actually inconclusive. There is a grey area on this one and I await an explanation from the South African referees on how this was a try.

Law 22.1 & 22.2 state- There are two ways a player can ground the ball:

(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.

(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.

The list will go on, unless teams adapt on a game to game basis they will struggle. What you will be penalised for in one week, you will be allowed in another. The Reds-Blues clash was an example of an official not sure about the breakdown /scrum laws with some contentious calls. Surely there can be ways in which the officials fix this trend before it gets worse.

The use of neutral officials in clashes could be of help. Watching the Jaguares game against the Chiefs; one has to wonder what SANZAAR are a aiming at with the officials finding themselves making some rather one sided calls on occasion. One has to feel for the Argentinians who have had to face this all season.

All attack, no defence

The Lions managed to put the Cheetahs to the sword and further exposed the Bloemfontein side’s inability to tackle, cover the support runners and read the play of the opposition. The Cheetahs have a tournament high of 116 tackles. A further 38 more than the beleaguered Kings who show some bright sparks but lack the nous to dominate an 80 minute game. The Bloemfontein side is still in rebuilding but would have done well to focus on defence first this season to heal an Achilles heel that has derailed them in the last decade. The chances are looking good that South Africa will harbour at least two of the worst sides in the competition. While most sides will battle with balance the Cheetahs just seem to forget the entire aspect that is defence.

Team of the week:

My team of the week this weekend features a few surprise players and the top performers in:

Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls); Ruan Combrinck (Lions); Johnny-Ben Kotze (Stormers); Howard Mnisi (Lions); Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders); Elton Jantjes (Lions); Faf de Klerk (Lions); Jed Holloway (Waratahs); Sean McMahon (Rebels); Elliot Dixon (Highlanders); Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers); Blade Thomson (Hurricanes); Marcel van der Merwe (Blue Bulls); Malcolm Marx (Lions);  Sef Faagase (Reds)

A view from the couch..

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The Sunwolves have bite

For a team that had under two weeks in pre-season the Wolves managed to play a brave, exciting game The Cheetahs should have been worried at some stage and if it wasn’t for the replacements early on from Franco Smith they could have lost.

The Cheetahs will take pride in the character they showed and will look back and take a few lessons from this match. No one will under estimate the Sunwolves and if you willing to field an under strength side against them- at your own peril.

The Wolves showed some great innovation, speed and resilience. Their addition is becoming more of a positive addition and they are well placed to leave a mark on this tournament.

Akihito Yamada was exceptional in scoring a hat trick that lit up the round. #Awooo

Lions still in good stead

A loss to the champions the Highlanders saw the Lions end their overseas tour with two wins in three. The performance was not as bad if you look at the numbers and game a second time.

The Lions may need to adopt a few options if they look to be an all-round game. They will need to at their kicking game. The Lions kicking was out of touch in Dunedin and may need to refine it a bit.

They showed a lot more one dimensional play this weekend as well, playing off the second receiver so often the Highlanders had it covered. The Highlanders offered an impressive rush defense that capitalized on long, cut-out passes and this resulted in smothering tackles, intercepts to mention a few.

What will be key is how close the Lions came to scoring in the last minute when there was a chip over the defence and they regathered.

Attacking variations will be important going forward. Bar a game in Argentina, the Lions have majority of their games in South Africa and should be poised to finish top in their group.

We also learned that what you do with possession is very important as the Lions dominated possession & territory (71% and 70 % respectively).

The Lions at some point looked to have run out of ideas and could be their biggest downfall if they do not vary their game. Their depth looks much better than most sides in the competition.

The Sharks are better than last year

They Sharks have looked good over the weeks. Slowly showing a vast improvement on the past season.

They have looked good in the set-piece and have a great blend between experience and youth. The side that took to field on Saturday averaged just 25 years. Forget the contentious decision to award the penalty try which I think was completely wrong and bonkers.

The credibility to match officials needs to seriously be looked at. The Sharks played what was in front of them and they dominated. Both Stormers packs got pummelled at the scrum bar one or two when Scarra and the less fancied Oli Kebble felt like scrumming.

The Beast had one of his best games and destroyed both Springbok incumbents. The line out was much improved even pipping a Stormers throw. The tactical nous of Gary Gold has to be lauded.

There is a tour ahead but for now the Sharks can be hopeful of a strong season. The thought of Pat Lambie, Chilliboy Ralepelle, Francois Kleinhans, Renaldo Bothma, Jacques Potgieter, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Botha among many who will boost the squad.

To Gary Gold, unleash S’bura Sithole. He will add some variety to a backline that could derail the Sharks attack. The Stormers will need to go to the drawing board because the next two clashes are as tough as they get.

The Brumbies who look flawless and a trip to Argentina against the Jaguares could define their season.

Pieter Steph du Toit signs for Stormers

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Western Province Rugby can confirm that Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit will be furthering his career with the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province from November 1, 2015.

Having recently announced the signings of props JC Janse van Rensburg and JP Smith, as well as capturing the signature of Springbok winger Cornal Hendricks, the confirmation of Du Toit’s signing is a huge boost for both the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province.

WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal commented: “We are excited that Pieter-Steph has decided to return (home) to the Cape, where he was born and raised, and so too is Cornal Hendricks – a tall, fast wing who is a proven performer at international level.

“JC (Janse van Rensburg) is an experienced loosehead prop with plenty top-level captaincy experience, so we believe all our signings will bolster us in key areas.”

Du Toit, who recently turned 23, was a member of the triumphant SA Under-20 team of 2012, before making his Test debut for the Springboks in Cardiff in November 2013.

To date he has played four Tests, the most recent being against Argentina in Buenos Aires earlier this month when he featured as a replacement flank – adding versatility to his many attributes, which include physicality, mobility and fantastic line-out and aerial skills.

“We want Western Province Rugby to continue to attract the biggest names in South Africa and someone like Pieter-Steph du Toit certainly fits the bill.

“We have our eye on a few more players, along with some re-signings that we will announce very soon, whilst we will also be concluding our search for a new Super Rugby coach shortly,” concluded Smal.

PIETER-STEPH DU TOIT FACTFILE:
Full name: Pieter Stephanus du Toit
Height: 2,00m
Weight: 116kg
Birth date: August 20, 1992
Birth place: Cape Town
Test debut: v Wales – November 9, 2013
Test caps: Four

 

It is official Springbok Hendricks signs with WP

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CornalHendricks

Springbok winger Cornal Hendricks has signed a contract with Western Province Rugby and will be available for the DHL Stormers from the start of the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The speedster, who originally made his name at international Sevens level, will return to his roots as a DHL Stormers player – having played his early provincial rugby for Boland, before becoming a full-time Sevens player in 2012 and then joining the Free State Cheetahs in 2014.

Hendricks, 27, made his Test debut in June of last year, whilst the 2013 Springbok Sevens Player of the Year was also a key member of the Commonwealth Games Gold medal-winning SA Sevens team in July 2014.

In all, he has played 11 Tests (as well as an additional match against the World XV) for the Springboks, scoring five tries – including a try on debut against Wales and a memorable solo score against the All Blacks in their hard-fought Rugby Championship tussle in Wellington in September 2014.

At 1,89 metres and 90 kilograms, he is an ideal wing signing for the DHL Stormers, with WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal telling the www.iamastormer.com website: “Cornal is tall and fast, which is what you need out wide at Super Rugby level, and he’s also a proven performer at international level.

“He is a local player who is coming home to his roots, so it’s an exciting signing for us on many levels. We look forward to seeing him in DHL Stormers colours come 2016.”

Springbok Hendricks linked with a move to Western Province

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Benedict Chanakira reports that Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Western Province. Apparently the Bulls were also trying to sign the Springbok winger but it looks like Western Province has won the race to secure Hendricks signature.

 

If the rumors are indeed true Hendricks will join his new Province after the World Cup in England later this year. At this stage no conformation has been given by either Western province nor the Cheetahs on Hendricks move.

Cornal Hendricks
Full names: Cornal
Date of birth: 18 Apr 1988
Place of birth: Paarl
School: Berg Rivier
Springbok no: 855
Debut test province: Cheetahs
Physical: 1.89m, 90kg
Current age: 27
Test summary: Tests: 11 Tries: 5
First Test: 14 Jun 2014 Age:26 Right Wing against Wales at Kingspark, Durban
Last Test: 29 Nov 2014 Age:26 Right Wing against Wales at Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), Cardiff

Test history:

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
14 Jun 2014 26 Right Wing Wales Win: 38-16 1 try Kingspark, Durban Cheetahs
21 Jun 2014 26 Right Wing Wales Win: 31-30 1 try Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit Cheetahs
28 Jun 2014 26 Right Wing Scotland Win: 55-6 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth Cheetahs
16 Aug 2014 26 Right Wing Argentina Win: 13-6 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Cheetahs
23 Aug 2014 26 Right Wing Argentina Win: 33-31 1 try Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta Cheetahs
06 Sep 2014 26 Right Wing Australia Lose: 23-24 1 try Subiaco Oval, Perth Cheetahs
13 Sep 2014 26 Right Wing New Zealand Lose: 10-14 1 try WestPac Stadium, Wellington Cheetahs
27 Sep 2014 26 Right Wing Australia Win: 28-10 Newlands, Cape Town Cheetahs
04 Oct 2014 26 Right Wing New Zealand Win: 27-25 Ellispark, Johannesburg Cheetahs
08 Nov 2014 26 Right Wing Ireland Lose: 15-29 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), Dublin Cheetahs
29 Nov 2014 26 Right Wing Wales Lose: 6-12 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), Cardiff Cheetahs

 

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JC Janse van Rensburg signs with DHL Stormers

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French-based loosehead prop JC Janse van Rensburg will join the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

JC-Janse-van-Rensburg-fist-

The powerful former Lions captain is currently in his third season with French club, Bayonne, but he will bolster the DHL Stormers’ propping resources as of November 1 with Steven Kitshoff having decided to further his career in France.

Janse van Rensburg, 29, toured Europe with the Springboks in 2012 (without getting any game time), as well as making over 50 appearances for the Lions at Super Rugby level and winning well over 50 provincial caps for the Golden Lions.

The hard-working front-ranker also boasts extensive top-level captaincy experience, having earned plenty of plaudits for his captaincy of the Lions at both Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup level. “I think I’m a better player for my experience in France, but I’m looking forward to returning home and joining a talented an ambitious team like the DHL Stormers,” said Janse van Rensburg.

“I cannot wait to make the move to Cape Town and I look forward to contributing to the success of the DHL Stormers. “I still have plenty of ambitions in terms of winning trophies (in South Africa) and perhaps also playing at a higher level and I couldn’t think of a better province and union than Western Province to achieve those goals.”

WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal expressed his delight at the signing of Janse van Rensburg, who will add big-game experience to the DHL Stormers’ front row resources.

“JC brings with him a wealth of experience – both locally and internationally,” Smal told the www.iamastormer.com website. “There is no doubt that we have some of the best young talent in South Africa, but it’s been proven that you need some experience mixed in between and JC certainly brings that to the table.

“Before he left South Africa he was pushing hard for Springbok selection and I expect him to continue in that vein.”

DHL Clifton Lifesaving Challenge Competition

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Competition time folks, and thanks to the guys at DHL this one is sure to please Stormers fans!

DHL will be hosting the DHL Clifton Lifesaving Challenge this Sunday the 19th of January at Clifton 4th beach in Cape Town.  In attendance will be various ex-Springbok legends as well as the Stormers Super Rugby squad for a fun day in the sun.

Part of the festivities also include a DHL Delivery Run on the beach and this is where you, the Cape Town fans come into play.

We are giving away the opportunity for one person and two of his or her mates, to join the festivities and take part in the ‘DHL Delivery Run’ on Sunday.  The winner of the short beach run will win the new 2014 Stormers Rugby Jersey, and will also get the opportunity with his or her mates to meet the players, take photo’s and even get that jersey signed by the squad!

Whether or not you win the race, it is an event you surely do not want to miss.

In order for you to win the chance to join the Stormers, DHL and the rest of the folks at Clifton beach, all you need to do is give us your 2014 New Year’s RUGBY Resolution including the hashtag, #DHLClifton.  You can enter as many times as you like and either post your entries right here on the site, or on our Twitter account, www.twitter.com/ruggaworld.

Remember, you and two mates will be invited to join the festivities so even get your mates to enter to stand a better chance.

Entries for the competition will close at 10:00am on Thursday morning and the winner will be announced on the site and on Twitter at noon.

Obviously, you need to be resident in Cape Town to claim this prize and if you happen to be a Stormers fan, all the better!

Good luck!

DHL Clifton

 

Stormers fined over R200K

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The Stormers have been fined over R 200 000.00 for bringing the game into disrepute.

WP re-signs key players

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Key DHL Stormers forwards Eben Etzebeth, Deon Fourie, De Kock Steenkamp and Rynhardt Elstadt have extended their playing contracts with Western Province Rugby.

Cheetahs bench Sarel for Stormers match

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Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has made one change to his side for their Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Rhodes makes Stormers debut

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Coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to the DHL Stormers team to take on the Cheetahs at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday (kick-off 17h05).

Saders team for Stormers

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The Crusaders are in South Africa this week to face Cape Town’s Stormers. Despite having won 72% of their games against the Stormers the Crusaders are taking nothing for granted. The Stormers are a formidable side that play a very physical game and on home turf they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team making four changes to the team that played the Kings last weekend.

Luke Whitelock takes the number eight jersey replacing injured skipper Kieran Read while Tyler Bleyendaal moves into first five-eighth to replace Dan Carter who has remained in New Zealand to be at the birth of his first child.

Israel Dagg returns to fullback, moving Tom Marshall back to the Wing and Zac Guildford to the bench. George Whitelock will captain the side.

The game will also mark a special occasion for inside centre and vice captain Ryan Crotty who will be playing his 50th Super Rugby game for the Crusaders. On the bench, Jordan Taufua will have the opportunity to make his first appearance for the Crusaders if called upon.

Crusaders team:

1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Corey Flynn
3. Owen Franks
4. Luke Romano
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. George Whitelock (c)
7. Matt Todd
8. Luke Whitelock
9. Willi Heinz
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
11. Johnny McNicholl
12. Ryan Crotty
13. Robbie Fruean
14. Tom Marshall
15. Israel Dagg

Reserves
16. Ben Funnell
17. Joe Moody
18. Dominic Bird
19. Jordan Taufua
20. Andy Ellis
21. Adam Whitelock
22. Zac Guildford

Stormers team vs Saders

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Springbok Pat Cilliers will make his second start of the 2013 season, after being named at loosehead prop for the DHL Stormers’ Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 19h10).

Kitshoff suspended for a week

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A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Steven Kitshoff of the Stormers guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

De Jongh back for Stormers

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Fit-again Springbok centre Juan de Jongh will start at outside centre for the DHL Stormers in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the unbeaten Brumbies (kick-off 19h10).

Bekker off to Japan

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Andries Bekker, the most-capped DHL Stormers player in the history of Super Rugby, will move to Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the conclusion of the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Local is Lekker in Stormers country

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The clash between the DHL Stormers and the Chiefs at DHL Newlands on Saturday 9th March saw the DHL Dancers run onto the rugby pitch in their new ensembles, as the winner of the DHL Design a Dancer contest was revealed.

Aimed at promoting local, up-and-coming talent in the fashion design field, the contest saw DHL team up with Western Province Rugby and FEDISA, South Africa’s Leading Institute for a BA Degree in Fashion Design to find a new outfit for the rugby team’s dedicated dance team. The winning design was also manufactured in the Western Cape, by a small CMT, to ensure it was proudly Capetonian.

The winning designer, Jode Venter, received a R10 000 cash prize, in addition to having her design showcased not only on the rugby pitch, but in all the associated media around the city’s favourite rugby team, the DHL Stormers.  Jode’s original design was adapted with input from both DHL, Western Province Rugby and the dancers themselves, to create the final ensemble.

The outfit also borrows from the designs of runners-up Alana Dynowski and Alison Schwabe. Dynowski’s design ‘The Super Stormer Woman’ was themed around superheroes and the judging panel loved her cape. Similarly, Schwabe’s submission had a detachable hood, which has also been integrated into the final design.

“We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of the entries,” comments Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “It was incredibly difficult to choose a winner but Jode’s definitely stood out for us. Her use of the DHL stripes, her presentation and the design theme that was used across all her elements – from the shoes, the socks, skirt and finishing – immediately caught our attention.”

Jode, a third year student at FEDISA hails from the Strand. She will complete her studies at the end of this year. “I got my ideas and inspiration from swimwear. I am very happy to have won and I am still in shock. I will be using the prize money for a new computer to use for my designs and further my career,” she concludes.

For more information on the contest and to see the seven finalist designs, please visit www.iamastormer.com

Visit FEDISA’s website at www.fedisa.co.za

Stormers Babes

Habs out for 10 weeks, Taute, De Jongh back

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Allister Coetzee, the head coach of the DHL Stormers, has released an injury update after his team’s 36-34 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the Chiefs this past weekend.

Chiefs team for Stormers

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The Chiefs have announced their team to play the Stormers in their Investec Super Rugby game at DHL Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday morning at 4.05am (Saturday 9 March 5.05pm SA time).

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made several changes to his side.  Mahonri Schwalger starts at hooker and Tanerau Latimer at No 6 for the first time this season, while Craig Clarke resumes his starting spot at lock and Liam Messam moves to No 8.

Charlie Ngatai starts in the No 12 Jersey.  Nick Crosswell makes his debut for the Chiefs and Andrew Horrell comes back in from injury.  Hika Elliot and Augustine Pulu join the reserves.

Chiefs team

  1. Pauliasi Manu
  2. Mahonri Schwalger
  3. Ben Afeaki
  4. Craig Clark ©
  5. Brodie Retallick
  6. Tanerau Latimer
  7. Sam Cane
  8. Liam Messam
  9. Tawera Kerr Barlow
  10. Aaron Cruden
  11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma
  12. Charlie Ngatai
  13. Tim Nanai-Williams
  14. Lelia Masaga
  15. Gareth Anscombe
  16. Hika Elliot
  17. Ben Tameifuna
  18. Michael Fitzgerald
  19. Nick Crosswell*
  20. Augustine Pulu
  21. Andrew Horrell
  22. Patrick Osborne

Liebenberg returns off the bench for Stormers

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The Stormers will take on the defending champion Chiefs at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 17h05), and Coetzee has kept the changes to a minimum – making just two adjustments to the bench.

Sharks change one for Stormers

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The Sharks have only changed one for their match against the Stormers.

The only change for the Sharks comes in at loose-forward where Jean Deysel replaces Jacques Botes who moves to the bench.  Marcell Coetzee will shift from 7 to the openside 6 position with Deysel wearing the number 7 shirt.

The Sharks

15. Louis Ludik
14. JP Pietersen
13. Paul Jordaan
12. Francois Steyn (C)
11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Patrick Lambie
9. Cobus Reinach
8. Ryan Kankowski
7. Jean Deysel
6. Marcell Coetzee
5. Franco van der Merwe
4. Anton Bresler
3. Jannie du Plessis
2. Craig Burden
1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements
16. Kyle Cooper
17. Wiehahn Herbst
18. Pieter-Steph du Toit
19. Jacques Botes
20. Charl McLeod
21. Meyer Bosman
22. Odwa Ndungane

Elton starts, Grant on the bench

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Elton Jantjies gets another start for the Stormers after a horrid afternoon with the boot against the Bulls.

Fullback Joe Pietersen and tighthead prop Frans Malherbe come into the starting line-up from the side that went down 17-25 to the Bulls last Friday, whilst flyhalf Peter Grant is back in the matchday 22 after completing his Japanese club commitments.

Joining Grant on the bench is prop Pat Cilliers – who started in the No.3 shirt last week – and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder who will warm the bench in place of Dewaldt Duvenage this weekend.

Saturday’s match, which will be played at Kings Park, kicks-off at 19h10.

The DHL Stormers team to take on the Sharks is as follows:

15. Joe Pietersen
14. Gio Aplon
13. Jean de Villiers (captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Bryan Habana
10. Elton Jantjies
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Rynhardt Elstadt
6. Siya Kolisi
5. Andries Bekker
4. De Kock Steenkamp
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Deon Fourie
1. Steven Kitshoff

Reserves:
16. Martin Bezuidenhout
17. Pat Cilliers
18. Don Armand
19. Nizaam Carr
20. Louis Schreuder
21. Peter Grant
22. Gerhard van den Heever

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

Mapoe on wing for Bulls

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Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named an experienced outfit to face the Stormers on Friday at Loftus Versfeld in the opening match of the local 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Taute, Jantjies make Stormers debut, still no Schalk

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Allister Coetzee, the DHL Stormers head coach, has announced his team for Friday’s 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby opener against the Bulls in Pretoria (kick-off 19h10).

Etzebeth out for 6-8 weeks

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DHL Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will miss the start of his team’s 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, after being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks.

Jean leads Stormers against Boland

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Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will lead the DHL Stormers into battle in their second pre-season friendly of 2013, when the Men from the Cape take on neighbours, the Regent Boland Cavaliers, at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (14h45).

Burger likely to miss opening game

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Stormers captain Schalk Burger and centre Juan de Jongh have both been ruled out of Saturday’s final Super Rugby warm-up match against the Boland Cavaliers at the Cape Town Stadium.

Duane leads Stormers

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Allister Coetzee, the DHL Stormers head coach, has named his team to take on the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Saturday’s pre-season friendly in Bloemfontein (kick-off 17h00).

Juan Smith returns to rugby

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Springbok flank Juan Smith will make his long awaited return to rugby when the Cheetahs face the Stormers in a Super Rugby warm-up game in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Another Lion joins Stormers

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Lions hooker Martin Bezuidenhout will join the DHL Stormers at the start of next week, as injury cover up front.

Opening rounds crucial for SA’s favourites

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When it comes to picking the favourites to lead the South Africa conference the popular vote seems to be split between the Stormers and the Sharks.

Burger confirmed as Stormers captain

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A fit again Schalk Burger will once again lead the Stormers for the 2013 Super Rugby campaign.

Stormers name training camp squad

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DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee on Friday revealed a 36-man squad for next week’s pre-season camp in Hermanus ahead of the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament which kicks-off late next month.

Habana confirms Toulon move

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After news broke earlier in the week that Springbok and Stormers wing, Bryan Habana is negotiating with French club Toulon, the winger confirmed that he has signed a pre-contract agreement.

Olivier might miss start of SR season

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The Bulls gets a taste of what the Stormers had to put up with following news that Wynand Olivier might miss the start of their Super Rugby campaign due to his Japanese club advancing in their domestic competition.

2013, the Year of the Bok

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I have been mulling over a subject for my last column of 2012 for about a month now.

WP Rugby confirms Taute, Jantjies loan deals

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WP Rugby can confirm that Springbok backs Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute will join the DHL Stormers on loan for the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Bulls make Nienaber offer

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The Blue Bulls have set their sights firmly on former Springbok and current Stormers defensive coach Jacques Nienaber and have made a big offer to him to join their coaching ranks as from 2013.

Got game, no brain

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Having read most of the post-mortems on the Stormers’ failure yet again in a playoff match, I can honestly I don’t buy into any of the reasons offered so far.

One change for Sharks, still no Lambie

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The Sharks have made just one change to their starting line-up ahead of the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final match against the Stormers on Saturday, with Paul Jordaan failing a late fitness test.

No Vermeulen for Stormers

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The Stormers will go into the semi-final against the Sharks without the services of Duane Vermeulen.

Super Rugby semi’s confirmed

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The first week of the Super Rugby Finals Series is complete and the winners of the two Super Rugby Qualifiers, Crusaders and Sharks, are confirmed away participants for the Super Rugby Semi-Finals.

Sadie quitting Bulls?

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It has been reported that Johann Sadie is set to leave the Bulls after only one season to join the Cheetahs.

Eccentric genius, or space cadet?

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Is Rassie the trailblazing technical guru so many make him out to be, including players and peers? Or, is he the self-centered, obnoxious chameleon?

Plenty of changes for Cheetahs

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Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske rang the changes to his side on Wednesday for their Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers at the Free State Stadium this weekend.

Stormers receive a boost

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Allister Coetzee today named the DHL Stormers team to take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday with a number of players back in action to boost the Stormers.

Young Stormers to tackle Lions

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With 3 league fixtures to play, the DHL Stormers currently lead the South African Super Rugby Conference, 5 ahead of the Vodacom Bulls and 9 ahead of the Sharks.

Coetzee likely to rest stars for Lions

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The much anticipated return of loose forwards Schalk Burger and Nick Koster for the Stormers’ clash against the Lions on Saturday has been put on hold.

Bekker set to return for Stormers

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Springbok lock Andries Bekker is expected to be fit to play in the Stormers’ next Super Rugby match against the Lions on June 30.

Stormers team for Bulls

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Allister Coetzee today named the DHL Stormers team to take on the Bulls, at Loftus, on Saturday 2 June at 19h10.