URC Preview – Dragons v DHL Stormers

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    The weekend United Rugby Championship starts with the DHL Stormers taking on the Dragons in Newport on Friday night. This will be the last match on the first tour to Europe for the Cape Franchise and one that they will dearly want to win.

    So far they only manage one draw and two losses in the first three matches they have played in the league and a win will make sure that they do not leave Europe with nothing for the huge effort they have put in so far.

    Here is the current log standings:

    UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP LOG

    PosTeamPWLDPDPts
    1761013429
    275115728
    375205425
    47520-1725
    574302221
    654106519
    763305316
    87340-3716
    95320-2414
    105230-4012
    115230-1311
    125230-149
    137160-439
    145131-247
    155140-665
    165050-1091

    The Dragons are one win from three matches so far but they are no easy side and the Stormers will have to put in a huge effort to grind out a win on Friday night.

    They have been very good in their last two matches and in fact they could have had three wins form three but were not able to put 80 minutes together in the first two matches and last week threw away plenty off opportunities to get more than just the draw out the match.

    This week team sheet sees Junior Pokomela making his debut for the Stormers. He is the only change in the pack this weekend with Dobson sticking to his players that came so close last week against Edinburgh.

    He did however made five changes to his backline this week. He went back to his fit again halfback pair in Ungerer and Manie Libbok to hopefully get them even better attacking opportunities this weekend.

    In the midfield Dobson went with Dan Du Plessis and Ruan Nel with Zas, Van der Merwe and Gelant as the back three for this weekend.

    DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team will be leaving it all out there at Rodney Parade.

    “We have been competitive in every game on this tour and we want to end it with our best performance yet.

    “We know it will take 80 minutes of accurate execution against a tough Dragons side, but the team is excited to give it a full crack.

    “We have some talented players coming in this week and we are looking forward to seeing what they can do out there,” he said.

    Dragons coach Dean Ryan has made only three changes to his starting XV for this weekend match.

    The team will have some confidence going into this match after beating Connacht in round 3.

    Ben Carter and Ross Moriarty are back in the starting team with Gonzalo Bertranou making his first start of the season.

    Rowlands will join Carter in the second row with Moriarty that will lead the side on the side of the scrum. He will be joined in the loose trio by Basham and Wainwright at number eight.

    Bertranou will start with the number nine on his back partnering with Sam Davies at ten.

    In the midfield we see Owen and Dixon continue their partnership with Williams at fullback with Holmes and Olowofela on the wings.

    This match will be live on SuperSport at 20:30

    Teams:

    Dragons: Jordan Williams, Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou, Greg Bateman, Elliot Dee, Mesake Doge, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Ross Moriarty (captain), Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

    Replacements: Taylor Davies, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Joe Maksymiw, Ollie Griffiths, Rhodri Williams, Josh Lewis.

    DHL Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Leolin Zas, Ruhan Nel, Dan du Plessis, Edwill van der Merwe, Manie Libbok, Stefan Ungerer, Brok Harris, Scarra Ntubeni, Neethling Fouche, Ernst van Rhyn, Salmaan Moerat (captain), Junior Pokomela, Willie Engelbrecht, Evan Roos.

    Replacements: JJ Kotze, Kwenzo Blose, Sazi Sandi, Justin Basson, Marcel Theunissen, Paul de Wet, Tim Swiel, Juan de Jongh.

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