Stormers

Stormers v Sharks preview

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Newlands, Cape Town, 17.05 (15.05 GMT)

This is set to be the match of the weekend. The Stormers should really have done much better this year and their results over the latter stages have demonstrated that they should really have turned in some better performances in the beginning of the tournament.

But they have always lacked the power of a thriving tight five, and, since that particular unti settled down midway through the season, they have begun to challenge the higher-placed teams.

Yet they failed in a big test with the Bulls and get another shot when they come up against the steel of the Sharks.

Both sides have backs to burn, but the question is how will the battle upfront turn out, and how will the loose trios fire off those performances.

Newlands has not been a happy hunting ground for the Sharks but they quite simply have to win this one to assure themselves of a play-offs spot and to gain a top two spot for the home semi-final.

The Stormers however feel nothing for the Sharks’ cause.

Prediction: The Sharks will have just too much firepower upfront for the Stormers, who may come closer than anticipated with a form loose trio who can mix it up with the Durban boys. Sharks by less than ten.

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Corn’ Uys, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Brent Russell, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Gerrie Britz, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Eddie Andrews, 18 Schalk Ferreira, 19 Francois van der Merwe, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Dylan des Fountain.

Sharks: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 Francois Steyn, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Butch James, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Warren Britz/AJ Venter, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Johann Muller, 4 Johan Ackermann, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Deon Carstens
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Albert van den Berg, 19 Keegan Daniel/Warren Britz, 20 Bob Skinstad, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Adrian Jacobs

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Touch judges: Linston Manuels (South Africa), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman

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