Preview: Stormers vs Cheetahs – 01/04/2017

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The Stormers will want to hang onto their unbeaten run when they host the Cheetahs in Cape Town on Saturday.

The Capetonians have asserted their dominance over the Africa 1 Conference after four wins from four games and currently sit comfortably with 17 points while the Cheetahs are second on the table with nine points after just two wins.

The Stormers will have confidence going into the game as they have won their last three games against the Cheetahs, the longest winning streak of either team in this fixture since the Stormers won seven on the bounce from 2008 to 2012.

The Stormers have also won each of their last four regular season games at home, scoring an average of 38 points per game in that span.

The Cheetahs won’t have the same swagger going into the clash having won just two of their last 13 games away from home within South Africa, and haven’t won an away fixture against the Stormers since Round 6, 2006.

It’s not all bad for the Cheetahs as they boast a goal kicking success rate of 90 percent this campaign, better than any other team in the tournament and 21 percentage points higher than the Stormers.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is looking forward to standing together with the Newlands faithful once again.

“After two away games separated by a bye week, it is exciting for us to be playing in front of our crowd at Newlands once again,” he said.

“It will be another tough South African derby, but the players have put in plenty of hard work this week and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The last time these teams met: The Stormers ended a three-game winless streak with a hard-fought 31-24 victory over the Cheetahs at Newlands. It was a good day for the Du Plessis family with debutant Daniel du Plessis crossing for the home side’s opening try and his cousin, Jean-Luc, finished with a 16-point haul via four penalties and two conversions.

Team news: The Stormers have made a few changes to their side. Back-row Cobus Wiese will make his first start for the Stormers against the Cheetahs while fit-again Cheslin Kolbe will return to the starting XV on the right wing which should inject some pace into the Stormers backline.

The Cheetahs have made four changes to the starting line-up. Niel Marais and Nico Lee swap places with Marais starting at inside centre and Lee relegated to the bench. Sergeal Petersen will make his return after a knee injury, replacing JW Jonker who stepped in for him shortly before last weekend’s loss to the Sharks in Bloemfontein. In the forwards, Charles Marais and Ox Nche swap places with Marais starting on loosehead prop and Nche dropping down to the replacements bench.

Form: The Stormers are one of three unbeaten sides in the competition after four wins from four with a bye in Round 4. In their last three games they have beaten the Jaguares 32-25, the Kings 41-10 and came from behind to see off the Sunwolves 44-31.

The Cheetahs have taken a dive in form after wins over the Bulls and Sunwolves in the first three round of the season. They have since had two losses in a row, the first 41-14 against the Jaguares where they conceded five tries before travelling back home where they were beaten by the Sharks 38-30.

Previous results:

2016: Stormers won 31-24 in Cape Town
2016: Stormers won 20-10 in Bloemfontein
2015: Stormers won 42- 12 in Cape Town
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17 in Bloemfontein
2014: Stormers won 33-0 in Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22 in Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3 in Cape Town
2013: Cheetahs won 26-24 in Bloemfontein

The teams:

Stormers: 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 (c), 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 Oli Kebble, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 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 Ox Nche, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Luther Obi

Date: Saturday, April 1
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 15:05 local (13:05 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Quintin Immelman (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


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