Preview: Stormers v Cheetahs

Date published: May 23 2014

There will be lots of pride at stake when the Stormers and Cheetahs face off at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

There will be lots of pride at stake when the Stormers and Cheetahs face off at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

As two of the weaker sides in the tournament, their play-off hopes have faded but that won't prevent these sides from trying to get the better of each other.

This will be another typical South African derby. Don't be surprised if the game is played at a frenetic pace, for 80 minutes, and expect the collisions to be brutal.

The Stormers are out for revenge after they were on the receiving end of a 35-22 hiding from the Cheetahs when these sides met in the corresponding fixture in Bloemfontein last month.

Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee is determined that his side do not repeat the same mistakes that led to their undoing in that previous encounter.

“We learned a few lessons from our defeat last time out,” he said.

“On that occasion we gave the Cheetahs too much space when they ran the ball.

“We allowed them to get into that space, which you cannot do against them as they have players like Willie le Roux who will punish you. We must close up that space better than we did in Bloemfontein.”

The Stormers have been boosted by the return of veteran Springbok duo Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers, who missed last weekend's victory over the Western Force with injuries.

Burger has been battling with niggling injuries throughout their campaign but, when he's been in action, he has not let the men from the Cape down and is slowly regaining the form which made him a Bok stalwart during their victorious 2007 World Cup campaign.

He has been rewarded with a call-up to a Springbok training camp and will be keen to show that there is still plenty of rugby left in him.

Burger is the senior member of an exciting back row alongside fellow Bok Duane Vermeulen and Nizaam Carr. Their duel with the Cheetahs' loose trio of Heinrich Brüssow -who is also back in the Bok set-up after a long absence – Boom Prinsloo and Teboho Mohoje will be one of the highlights of this game.

The Cheetahs have battled to reach the heights of 2013 – when they made the playoffs – but their games are usually very entertaining.

They pride themselves on laying a solid foundation in the forwards from which their backs attack.

This they do with devastating effect and their are several players who are dangerous with ball in hand.

Last weekend they shocked the Brumbies by beating them 27-21 in Bloemfontein with Johan Goosen leading the way a 22-point haul.

The Stormers will have to keep him in check if they want to be victorious as he has the ability to unlock the tightest defence with ball in hand but also punish any mistakes from the opposition with his goal-kicking.

Also keep an eye on the midfield partnership of Ryno Benjamin and Johann Sadie, who have combined well in recent weeks.

The Cheetahs have struggled to replace Robert Ebersohn, who is now plying his trade at Montpellier in France, but Benjamin – who is actually a wing – has come on in leaps and bounds since switching to centre.

Sadie has been one of the Cheetahs' star performers and will keen to do well against his former side.

Form: The Stormers have delivered a mixed bag of results in recent weeks, so if things have to go according to the form book then they will be on the losing side this weekend. Their record over the past six weeks reads as follows: loss, win, loss, win, loss, win. Of those matches, they lost 22-11 to the Waratahs before beating the Lions (18-3), but then suffered that 35-22 defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. They bounced back with a 29-28 victory over the Highlanders but then went down to the Bulls (28-12) but returned to the victory trail with a 24-8 triumph over the Western Force last weekend. Since their triumph over the Stormers in Round 11, the Cheetahs suffered back-to-back losses to the Sharks and Bulls and Western Force before securing a 27-21 win over the Brumbies.

Previous results:
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22 in Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3 in Cape Town
2013: Cheetahs won 26-24 in Bloemfontein
2012: Stormers won 16-14 in Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 13-6 in Bloemfontein
2011: Stormers won 44-34 in Bloemfontein
2011: Stormers won 21-15 in Cape Town

Prediction: This should be an entertaining spectacle as both sides are now exponents of the running game. The Stormers always look better in front of their home fans and will be victorious. Stormers by seven points!

The teams:

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Cheslin Kolbe,10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Kobus van Wyk

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements:16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Gouws Prinsloo.

Date: Saturday May 24
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 1705 local, 1605 BST
Referee: Stuart Berry (SA)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Quinton Immelman (both SA)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (SA)