Super Rugby Preview : Force vs Stormers – 9/7/16

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The Stormers will look to continue where they left off against the Rebels last weekend when they face the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

The men from the Cape finished strongly in Melbourne, eventually claiming a memorable 57-31 victory over their hosts which enhanced their play-off hopes.

The Force, meanwhile, returned to action from the break for the June internationals and impressed in their clash against the Cheetahs but suffered a narrow 30-29 defeat in Bloemfontein.

Another victory will secure the Stormers top spot on the Africa Conference One table – as well as a home quarter-final – and they will fancy their chances of doing just that against the Force, who are languishing at the bottom of the Australian Conference standings.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck wants his team to finish their Australian tour with a convincing performance.

“It is vital that we continue to build momentum as a team, so our focus is on making another step up and making it two wins from two games on our tour,” he said.

The Stormers have won seven of the nine meetings between these sides in Super Rugby, including the last four, while the Force have lost 13 of their last 14 home games, including the last nine in a row.

The Force side have lost their last three home matches against South African opposition, however they have never lost four such fixtures on the bounce.

The Stormers have conceded only nine tries when the opposition begins possession within the Stormers 22m zone, the equal fewest of any team in the competition (Highlanders).

The last time these teams met: The Stormers claimed a hard-fought 13-6 victory in Perth at the end of their Australasian tour. Although the Force delivered a gallant effort, the result was their eighth straight defeat of the season. A penalty try to the Stormers was this encounter’s only five-pointer with the visitors’ other points coming via a conversion and a penalty from Demetri Catrakilis, and a penalty from Kurt Coleman. The Force’s points came via two Luke Burton penalties.

Team news: The Western Force have made four changes to their starting line-up. Ben Tapuai returns to the run-on side at outside centre, while local product Richard Hardwick has been named for his first start, on the blindside flank. In the other changes to the matchday 23, Guy Millar comes into the starting line-up at tighthead prop for Tetera Faulkner, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury against the Cheetahs last week, Ryan Louwrens gets the nod at starting scrum-half and Jermaine Ainsley comes onto the bench.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has made two injury-enforced changes to his starting XV after last week’s win over the Rebels. Sikhumbuzo Notshe replaces Nizaam Carr on the flank whilst Alistair Vermaak starts at loosehead prop as Oli Kebble is sidelined with a knee injury. As a result, prop Wilco Louw and utility back Huw Jones come onto the replacements bench which features five forwards and three backs. Rynhardt Elstadt will earn his 50th Stormers cap if he comes off the replacements bench.

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Previous results: 

2015: Stormers won 13-6 in Perth
2014: Stormers won 24-8 in Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 17-3 in Perth
2011: Stormers won 51-16 in Cape Town
2010: Force won 16-15 in Perth
2009: Stormers won 25-24 in Cape Town

The teams:

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan (c), 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Richard Hardwick, 5 Rory Walton, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (c), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JP Smith, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Scott van Breda

Date: Saturday, July 9
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19:45 local (11:45 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Graham Cooper, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall


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