The Stormers and Sharks have played each other twice this season and won one each but unlike the other semi-finalists the team that was playing at home was the winner on the day.
The first match between the teams this season was in March and the Stormers won 15-12 at Newlands in Cape Town while the Sharks won the second match 25-20 in Durban during the month of May.
The combined score for the two matches this season are Stormers 35 Sharks 37 and the Sharks recent victory ended a three match losing streak to the Stormers.
Since 1998 the Stormers have played the Sharks 17 times and the Stormers have won 9 times and the Sharks 8 times. That translates to the Stormers winning 53 % of their matches against the Sharks.
On average when the Stormers and the Sharks play each other across all venues the score is Stormers 22 Sharks 20.
At Newlands in Cape Town the Stormers have played the Sharks 8 times and they have won five of those matches and lost 3 times. This translates to the Stormers winning 63% of their matches against the Sharks at Newlands.
When the Stormers play the Sharks at Newlands the average score is Stormers 24 and Sharks 19.
The Sharks have not beaten the Stormers at Newlands since 2009 when they won 15-20 in the opening round.
The Stormers have played in four Semi-finals since 1999 and they have a 3-1 record as they lost to the Highlanders 18-33 in May 1999, in 2004 they lost to the Crusaders 27-16 and in 2010 they beat the Waratahs 25-6. Last year at Newlands they lost 10-29 to the Crusaders.
Overall the Stormers have won 25% of their Semi-finals and at Newlands they have played three Semi-finals and won once (the Waratahs) which means that at home they have won 33% of their Semi-finals.
The Sharks have also played in four Semi-finals and have a 50% record. They lost to the Crusaders 36-32 in Christchurch in 1998 and then two years later in Durban they beat the Lions 30-12 and in 2007 they beat the Blues 34-18 also in Durban.
Their last Semi-final was against the Waratahs in Sydney and they lost 28-13 to the Waratahs in 2008. So while the Sharks have won 50 % of their Semi-final matches they have only won at home and have a 100 % record of losing Semi-finals away from home.
The Stormers ended their regular season with a four match winning streak and the last team to beat them was the Sharks in May. Injuries impacted heavily on the Stormers performances on the field but they still managed to churn out victories.
They had last week off for the bye but injuries have still played a part as Duane Vermeulen lost his race with fitness. Coach Allister Coetzee has tinkered with the team and has named his strongest line up.
The Sharks made one change for the match and will go into the match brimming with confidence having comfortably beat the Reds. The result against the Reds was not only a surprise as few expected the Sharks to play as well as they did but they put in arguably their best performance this season.
The Sharks are on a three match winning streak and their last loss was to the Lions in June. While last week's performance was exceptional they have shown glimpses of that form in all three of their last matches albeit at different stages in the matches.
The Bookies have given the Sharks a 5 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. Home advantage in rugby is huge. Teams battle all season to get to the top of the table so that they can play these matches at home. The Sharks showed that they are not bothered with home advantage last week. We think they will attempt to do it again this week. We are going against the Bookies by saying the Sharks to win by two.
This match will be shown on TV NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD.
Average score: 22-20
Last five results
26 May 2012 Stormers v Sharks 20-25 Durban
03 Mar 2012 Stormers v Sharks 15-12 Cape Town
30 Apr 2011 Stormers v Sharks 32-12 Cape Town
02 Apr 2011 Stormers v Sharks 16-6 Durban
08 May 2010 Stormers v Sharks 14-20 Durban
Stormers overall record against the Sharks
Played 17 , Wins 9 , Losses 8, Draws 0
Match No.124 :Stormers v Sharks
Date Saturday, 28 July, 2012
Venue : Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa
Kick Off local: (1705 local, 1505 GMT, Sun 29 Jul 0305 NZT, Sun 29 Jul 0105 NSW/ACT, 1705 SAT)
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2:Marius Jonker
TMO : Shaun Veldsman
15. Joe Pietersen ,14. Gio Aplon ,13. Juan de Jongh ,12. Jean de Villiers (C) ,11. Bryan Habana,10. Peter Grant ,9. Dewaldt Duvenage ,8. Deon Fourie ,7. Rynhardt Elstadt ,6. Siya Kolisi ,5. Andries Bekker ,4. Eben Etzebeth ,3. Brok Harris ,2. Tiaan Liebenberg ,1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements:16. Frans Malherbe,17. Deon Carstens,18. De Kock Steenkamp,19. Don Armand,20. Louis Schreuder ,21. Burton Francis,22. Gerhard van den Heever
1. Tendai Mtawarira , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 4. Willem Alberts , 5. Anton Bresler , 6. Keegan Daniel (Captain) , 7. Marcell Coetzee , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Frederic Michalak , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 12. Meyer Bosman , 13. Tim Whitehead , 14. JP Pietersen , 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements , 16. Craig Burden , 17. Wiehahn Herbst , 18. Steven Sykes , 19. Jean Deysel , 20. Jacques Botes , 21. Odwa Ndungane , 22. Riaan Viljoen