The Stormers return from Singapore for a South African derby clash against the Cheetahs on Saturday.
The teams have clashed 17 times since 2006 and the Cape side has won 12 matches and lost five to the Cheetahs.
Robbie Fleck’s men have won each of their last four regular season games at Newlands, scoring an average of 38 points per match.
Centre EW Viljoen has scored a try in each of his last three games for the Stormers.
Cheetahs’ coach Franco Smith has made a tactical change, naming regular flyhalf Niel Marais at inside centre, alongside captain Francois Venter.
The Free Staters have won just two of their last 13 games away from home in South African derbies, they will need to remedy this, and soon.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
Teams are out, Beep! We are off.
1.00: the lineout battle will be immense today, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth against Francois Uys and Armandt Koster.
2.00: Cheetahs lose the ball inside the 22 of the Stormers. First scrum will be interesting.
4.00: Stormers take the ball through SP Marais at first receiver; the home team are inside the visitors’ half and on the attack.
5.00: Penalty to the Cape side. Robert du Preez lines the kick up from about 47 metres, just to the right.
6.00: PENALTY SUCCESS! Du Preez opens the scoring as the ball sails through the posts.
8.00: Dillyn Leyds breaks into the Cheetahs’ 22, loses the ball, then, the ball pops out the ruck he starts another attack. However, the visitors, again, win the breakdown. Fred Zeilinga clears.
10.00: The hosts come again and Kolbe makes a good run into the 22 offloading to Leyds and they fall at the 5 of the Cheetahs. The away team win a penalty and clear into touch.
11.00: The Cheetahs are building from their half way; some slick passing and make it to the 10 of the Stormers. Niel Marais kicks into touch at the Stormers 22.
12.00: Cheetahs scrum at the 5.
13.00: Vermaak making an early exit as he finds himself injured during an earlier tackle. On comes Dewaldt Duvenage.
15.00: Game is yet to really get going, both sides still feeling each other out.
16.00: Try Dillyn Leyds! Boy, he is electric. all good things come from him.He collects the ball inside the 22 and beats Niel Marais’s cover defence after Sergeal Petersen, jumped inside to attempt to break up the play.
17.00: Du Preez misses from the touchline.
18.00: Zeilinga’s restart is poor, scrum Stormers on the halfway but, Du Preez, kicks the ball over the in-goal area and we’ll g back for a scrum to the visitors.
19.00: The scrum collapses but the Cheetahs get the ball away.However, referee Rasta Rasivhenge catches JC Janse van Rensburg and Eben Etzebeth offsides. Zeilinga will look to goal.
20.00: PENALTY IS GOOD! That’s 70 points from the boot of Zeilinga this season and an above 90 percent kicking average, the best in the tournament.
22.00: TRY Sikhumbuzo Notshe! He gets his first try of the season after collecting SP Marais’ wonderful release. The fullback ran onto the flat pass, dummied and beat the defenders to the sideline to set up the No 8.
23.00: Conversion is good from the flyhalf.
25.00: Penalty to the Cheetahs after Leyds goes offside at the ruck.
26.00: The ball is kicked into touch. Line-out for the Cheetahs at the 5 of the hosts.
27.00: A horrible mix-up from the Cheetahs at the line out hands possession over to the Stormers – the visitors have not been short of opportunities but have lacked the composure to capitalise on their chances.
28.00: Kolbe kicks forward and chases but the Cheetahs defence is there to save the day.
29.00: Stormers have a lineout at the 22 of the visitors.
31.00: Nearly Cheslin Kolbe intercepts but knocks on and the Cheetahs have a scrum at their 22. the visitors are holding on here and it’s only half an hour in.
32.00: The referee blows for a penalty to the Cheetahs. It’s for illegal scrummaging. Clayton Blommetjies will clear.
33.00: The game is a little stop-start and the handling has been poor.
34.00: The Cheetahs with some desperate defending. Notshe almost gets through again. The ball is turned over and the Cheetahs get a penalty then clear their lines.
36.00: TRY! LEYDS AGAIN! A scrum in the middle of the field and the Stormers move the ball left, through the hands at speed. Dan du Plessis takes the ball from Du Preez and draws the defence, sending the ball to EW Viljoen who sends Leyds clear.
37.00: Du Preez adds the tough conversion from the corner. The Cheetahs were the architects of their own downfall, kicking the ball downfield and it rolling into touch in-goal.
39.00: Cheetahs have a penalty but opt to run, comes to nothing and the siren blows.
A great first half from the Stormers who scored three tries in the opening 40 minutes. Franco Smith needs to get his team’s head right for the second half.
The Cheetahs have six handling errors to the hosts’ four. But, it’s the “metres made” statistic that will worry Smith. The Stormers are more than double, with 376 metres to 175.
The half time score was Stormers 22 Cheetahs 3
Beep! We are back underway in Cape Town.
42.00: TRY Daniel Du Plessis! It started when the ball went straight into touch and the Stormers had a scrum. SP Marais sucks in two defenders and offloads to Daniel Du Plessis who slips through the gap on the inside to score.
43.00: Kick is good and the game is getting away from the visitors.
44.00: TRY Paul Schoeman! The Cheetahs hit back with a powerful driving maul. It’s Schoeman that gets up, holding the ball. His team needed that.
45.00: The conversion is good.
47.00: The Cheetahs come again and are sending the ball wide and through the phases.
50.00: The Cheetahs are getting close. This has been going for 17 phases but eventually, the ball is bundled into touch. That was great work by the visitors, taking the Stormers left and right, then back again. A couple of great offloads but the move breaks down. Good D from the home team. A bit too lateral by Smith’s men.
51.00: Johannes Coetzee is on for Tom Botha. Stormers clear through Duvenage.
53.00: The Cheetahs with an attacking lineout inside the Stormers’ 22. The home team clear and the visitors are inside their 10. Two poor lineouts have been costly.
54.00: TRY DU PREEZ! The standoff puts in a little chip kick, regathers and runs in unchallenged to score. He cramps as he dots down.
55.00: His conversion scrapes the post and is no good. Nizaam Carr is on for Cobus Wiese and the cheetahs bring on Ox Nche for Charles MaraisMarais.
56.00: The Cheetahs lose another breakdown battle. Wow, they’re getting hammered there. Du Preez kicks to touch inside the 5. Oliver Kebble is on for Frans Malherbe.
59.00: TRY Siya Kolisi! The Stormers are on the try line and Siya Kolisi scores. The skipper steps on the inside from close range and beats Nico Lee.
60.00: Teboho Mohoje, Shaun Venter and Armandt Koster are all off. Kurt Coleman is on for Du Preez.
62.00: The Stormers are on another attack inside the Cheetahs’ 22. Looks promising.
63.00: TRY Notshe! The No 8n gets his second after taking SP Marais inside pass. The fullback was getting tackled into touch and managed to release his team mate. It all started from EW Viljoen, what a find he has been.
65.00: The reset kick is sent back and the Cheetahs build from their own 10. The ball is kicked forward by the Cheetahs then kicked forward by the Stormers. The Stormers get a line-out after the ball exchanges hands and then a penalty is awarded to the Cheetahs at their 5.
67.00: The Stormers nearly get another. It’s become rag-tag for the visitors. Shaun Venter is on for Tian Meyer. Dan Kriel has entered the game too, replacing Dan du Plessis.
71.00: The ball changing hands and the Cheetahs come away with a penalty and kick into touch. The Stormers steal the line-out and the ball is kicked forward by Coleman and it goes into touch at the 5 of the Cheetahs.
73.00: OH NO! DISASTER! Henco Venter thought he was in but Cheslin Kolbe never gives up the chase and tackles him short of the line. Vener, trying to stretch and score, knocks on in the act of grounding.
76.00: Penalty to the Cheetahs after the throw; Stormers maul changing lanes. The ball is kicked into touch and the Cheetahs now at the 22 looking for any consolation.
78.00: TRY Notshe! HAT-TRICK! wow! The No 8 goes after Kolbe’s break and brings up the half century.
80.00: The kick is wide by Coleman but the Stormers have delivered a statement at Newlands today.
The final score is Stormers 53 (22) Cheetahs 10 (3)
Tries – Leyds (2), Notshe (3), Du Plessis, Du Preez, Kolisi
Pen – Du Preez
Con – Du Preez (4), Coleman
Tries – Schoeman
Pen – Zeilinga
Con – Zeilinga
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Cobus Wiese, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth , 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Oliver Kebble, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Niel Marais, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Luther Obi