It is never easy to beat the Brumbies in their backyard, but the Investec Stormers are not fazed by the home team’s impressive record in Canberra.
The Stormers tackle the Brumbies in the Canberra Stadium on Friday morning (SA time) and will have to perform exceedingly well if they want to go one better than the draw against the Highlanders last Saturday. The Brumbies have lost only once against a South African team in Canberra.
That is an indication of the daunting task awaiting the Stormers. But, word from the Stormers camp this week was that they don’t fear records and statistics.
Said Werner Greeff, the Stormers fullback: “We definitely don’t feel intimidated when we go play there. In fact, this is a match we are looking forward to.
“The reason therefore is that the Brumbies a similar type of game than ours play. They like to spread the ball wide and that is exactly how we do things too.”
Springbok centre Marius Joubert is another Stormer who is raring to go after missing last Saturday’s draw in Invercargill. He is back to form a very experienced midfield combination with De Wet Barry, with Jean de Villiers shifting outside to the wing in place of Tonderai Chavhanga.
Joubert admitted that his game was not quite up to his usual high standards against the Sharks. “Being dropped for the Highlanders game as part of a rotation policy for the Highlanders game was actually good for me,” he said.
The centre said he felt hungry again. “I know what I am capable of and now it is just a matter of getting out there and delivering whenever I do get the chance.”
The Brumbies will welcome back the experienced George Gregan at scrumhalf. Gregan and his halfback partner, Stephen Larkham, will be key players for the home team.
The Stormers, however, know they have the potential to score a first-ever victory in Canberra. It is now up to the players to go do the business.
Teams for Canberra Stadium:
Investec Stormers: 15 Werner Greeff, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Jean de Villiers, 10 Gaffie du Toit, 9 Neil de Kock (captain), 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson, 5 Rob Linde, 4 Quinton Davids, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Eddie Andrews. Replacements: 16 Hanyani Shimange, 17 Riaan Olckers, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Adri Badenhorst, 20 Bolla Conradie, 22 Chris Rossouw, 22 Tonderai Chavhanga.
Brumbies squad: Nic Henderson, Jeremy Paul, Guy Sheperdson, Radike Samo, Mark Chisholm, Owen Finegan, George Smith, Scott Fava, Matt Henjak, Stephen Larkham, Lenny Beckett, Gene Fairbanks, Joel Wilson, Clyde Rathbone, Sam Norton-Knight, David Palavi, Al Campbell, Tamaiti Horua, Henari Veratau, Ben Batger, Bill Young, George Gregan.
Kick-off: 19.30 (10:30 SA time).