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The Stormers host the Blues Saturday night at DHL Newlands Park, Cape Town. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 12:05am AEDT.
So far, the Blues have regularly scored over 20 points per match. But they may be stopped cold by the Stormers, who have conceded only seven points at home. Nevertheless, Leons McDonald’s boys from north New Zealand will enter this game with confidence after defeating the Bulls last week in Pretoria.
John Dobson is a formidable foe. He is a successful coach at Currie Cup level. So far, he is undefeated in his first season with the Stormers, leveraging the skill, power and speed available to him.
His attacking platform comprising Herschel Jantjies, Dillyn Leyds, Damian Willemse and Jamie Roberts epitomises the diversity of the Stormers’ talent base. Their pack is powerful and well-prepared, lead by Springbok Steven Kitshoff.
Against Kitshoff is the Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu. He has demonstrated the ability to lead a crew of newbies and journeymen into solid performance and wins. They would be better served today if they improved their defence. Last week they missed more than one in every five tackles.
Last week, McDonald selected three playmakers to spearhead the Blues’ match-winning attack. Today Harry Plummer will come off the bench, while Otere Black and Stephen Perofeta retain their starting positions. Finally, if they want to win today, the Blues should find a much better placekicker after an abysmal 34 per cent last week.
The odds are overwhelming on the Stormers’ side, with a superior set-piece, place kicking, more Test players on the roster and home ground advantage. The Blues will probably put up another good performance but are unlikely to defeat Dobson’s team.
When: 12:05am AEDT
Where: DHL Newlands Park, Cape Town
TV: Fox Footy, KAYO
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (C)
16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Ernst van Rhyn, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis
15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (C), 3 Sione Mafileo 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Aaron Carroll, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie