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Super Rugby Preview: Stormers v Blues


Stormers change one for Blues

The Stormers have made just just one change to their starting XV for their clash against the Blues in Cape Town on Saturday.

Having opened their campaign with a clinical 29-17 win over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend, Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has wisely kept the changes to a minimum.

In an enforced change, however, lock Jean Kleyn misses out with a calf muscle injury, handing a start to fellow young gun and lock-cum-flank Jurie van Vuuren – after the latter came off the bench at Loftus Versfeld.

In a further change to the 23-man squad that played away last Saturday, fit-again Springbok loose forward Siya Kolisi comes in for Van Vuuren in the number 19 shirt – meaning Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt will cover at lock whilst giving the hosts two explosive back-row options from the bench – with Springbok Nizaam Carr also amongst the replacements – in the process.

“Frans Malherbe and Kobus van Wyk are not quite there yet (in terms of fitness), but, that said, it’s great to be able to reward our players (with selection) after last week’s performance,” Coetzee told the Stormers’ official website.

“Losing Jean is a blow, in terms of continuity, but we didn’t want to risk him – after all it’s a long season.”

Saturday will see skipper Duane Vermeulen play his 100th Super Rugby match – 80th for the Stormers since 2009, along with 20 matches for the Cheetahs between 2007 and 2008.

Blues name side, Moala heads home

The team to face the Stormers this weekend in round two of the Super Rugby conference has been announced.Notable exclusions include George Moala, who re-aggravated a knee injury during the light training session and has returned to New Zealand.
He will be replaced by 2014 Development player of the year, Melani Nanai. Other injury updates include Dan Bowden, who has come through a fitness test after some time rehabilitating an injured toe.
Other changes include moving Charles Piutau to full-back, a decision that coach  John Kirwan says will “bring a good solid voice to the back.”
“For us, we think that Charles has a little bit more impact at 15. He went well for us last week, but we need to get him with the ball in hand a little bit more. We feel he’s a little bit more influential.”

The Stormers are coming off a 29-17 victory over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend. They have made just one change to the previous weekend’s starting line-up, with lock Jean Kleyn stepping off the field due to a calf muscle injury and Jurie van Vuuren stepping on in his place.

Kick-off will be at 4.05am NZT this Sunday, shown live on Sky Sport One from 4 am. For Blues updates, follow @BluesRugbyTeam on Twitter.

Last 10 Games played between the Stormers   and Blues
3-May-13 Blues 18 – 17 Stormers
16-Mar-12 Stormers 27 – 17 Blues
20-May-11 Blues 26 – 28 Stormers
10-Apr-10 Blues 21 – 33 Stormers
28-Feb-09 Stormers 08 – 14 Blues
22-Mar-08 Blues 17 – 14 Stormers
21-Apr-07 Stormers 33 – 20 Blues
8-Apr-06 Blues 32 – 15 Stormers
23-Apr-05 Stormers 24 – 37 Blues
16-Apr-04 Blues 23 – 51 Stormers
Overall Stats Stormers Overall Stats Blues
stormers2 blues1
Games Played 17 Games Played 17
*Games Won 7 *Games Won 10
*Games Lost 10 *Games Lost 7
Games Drawn 0 Games Drawn 0
*Longest.Winning.Streak 3 *Longest.Winning.Streak 3
*Longest Losing Streak 3 *Longest Losing Streak 3
*Largest Points For 51 *Largest Points For 74
*Largest Points Against 74 *Largest Points Against 51
*Largest.Winning.Margin 28 *Largest.Winning.Margin 46
*Largest Losing Margin -46 *Largest Losing Margin -28
*Total Points For 410 *Total Points For 475
*Avg Points For 24.12 *Avg Points For 27.94
*Total Points Against 475 *Total Points Against 410
*Avg Points Against 27.94 *Avg Points Against 24.12
*Total Points Difference -65 *Total Points Difference 65
*Avg Points Difference -3.82 *Avg Points Difference 3.82
* = By Stormers * = By Blues


Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li , 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (c), 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs , 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Lolagi Visinia

Date: Saturday, February 21
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Venue: Newlands
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match officials: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)




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