Stormers v Blues preview



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The Stormers have won and lost in sequence this year, and after losing last week are due for a victory this week.

That’s how the Stormers play – absolute inconsistency matched with an ability to beat most teams in the competition.

The Blues have been the form side of the competition, and have overcome the very problems that plague the Stormers to become a side of power and skill who could intimidate any side in the world.

But the Sharks demonstrated last week that one needs not be intimidated. Get in the face of the Blues, kick to the corner, and they can be nullified.

If the Stormers have the discipline to do just that, they have the players to take the subsequent opportunities to seal the deal.

But lest we forget, this Blues side is awesome. Their support play is second to none, and their tight five has been on the money. They will be hungry for a victory to maintain their cause for a home semi-final, with the Sharks breathing down their necks. Plus they travel to South Africa with the inherent New Zealander respect for the Republic’s rugby. They will not underestimate anyone.

Prediction: The Stormers will have to put in one of their greatest performances of all time. And it’s about time we saw them do something like this, but perhaps the Blues is just beyond them at this stage. Blues to win by more than ten points.

Blues: 15 George Pisi, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 David Holwell, 9 David Gibson, 8 Nick Williams,7 Daniel Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Troy Flavell (c), 4 Ali Williams, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Derren Whitcombe, 17 Nick White, 18 Greg Rawlinson, 19 Justin Collins, 20 Steve Devine, 21 Isa Nacewa, 22 Rudi Wulff

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Jean De Villiers, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Brent Russell, 10 Peter Grant, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Gerrie Britz, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 JD Moller, 18 Francois Van Der Merwe, 19 Joe Van Niekerk, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Corne Uys

Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Touch judges: Bradley Wahl (Australia), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
Television match official: Sean Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Tony Dunlop

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