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Despite finishing top of the South African division in this year’s Super 15, which automatically puts them in to the playoffs, the Stormers would have placed seventh on a combined log with the Australian and New Zealand teams – one spot outside the playoffs. Doesn’t bode well when they have to take on the Brumbies in Cape Town this weekend, who would have finished fifth on a combined log. One thing is for sure, following the B-team’s defeat against the Sharks last weekend, changes for the Stormers were aplenty – 14 to be exact. And the prize a ticket down under to take on either the Waratahs or Hurricanes in the semi-finals. – Stuart Lowman
Cape Town – Head coach Allister Coetzee has revealed the Stormers line-up for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby qualifier against the Brumbies at Newlands (17:05 kick-off), with Juan de Jongh assuming the captaincy duties once again.
Outside centre De Jongh has been in the lead for the Stormers since the loss of squad captain Duane Vermeulen and his return – from the side that played in Durban last Saturday – is one of the many expected changes this week.
De Jongh will, as usual, ‘buddy up’ with Damian de Allende in midfield, with Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis partnering at halfback and the back three of Cheslin Kolbe, Dillyn Leyds and Seabelo Senatla reunited once more.
Up front, Nizaam Carr – the only starting survivor from Durban – will pack down at No 8 in a powerful and consistent forward pack, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) passed fit to join the bench.
Ntubeni, props Ali Vermaak and Vincent Koch, lock Jean Kleyn and loose forward Michael Rhodes will serve as the forwards replacements, with Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman and Jaco Taute the backline replacements.
“Knockout matches are different to league matches,” Coetzee told the Stormers’ official website.
“You only get one shot at it, you have to be on your game and you have to ensure you dominate physically from the outset. To ask players to be physical in the quarters is to express an understatement.
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) June 17, 2015
“The Brumbies are a tough team, a physical team, and will rely on their well-drilled consistent set-piece. We know they have got line speed and we know they attack the breakdown. We are certainly bracing ourselves for a physical battle.”
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute
15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes (from): 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James Dargaville, 24 Les Makin, 25 Nigel Ah Wong
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