The DHL Stormers have always been one of the better travellers of the South African teams in Vodacom Super Rugby.
The team in the past has secured some fantastic away victories, none more dramatic than last week’s come-from-behind win over the Blues in Auckland.
It therefore may come as somewhat of a surprise that the DHL Stormers have never tasted victory in Canberra, where they face the Brumbies this weekend. Captain Schalk Burger, however says that spirits are confident of changing this following last week’s incredible result in New Zealand.
“The team is in high spirits after last week’s win. We really had to dig in and we managed to pull victory out of the fire. Confidence is up and now we are looking forward to the challenge ahead against the Brumbies.
“The Brumbies are a better team than the log suggests and we will need to be up for it if we want to come away with the victory. As a team we have never beaten them away from home so we would like to put the record right on Saturday. They have some very experience guys like Rocky Elsom and also great game-breaker in Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper so we know it will be a huge challenge.”
The DHL Stormers welcome back three of their more experienced players in the backline, with Peter Grant and Jaque Fourie starting, whilst Jean de Villiers returns to the bench. Schalk feels it is a boost to have these players back in the team. He said: “It is great to have Jaque and Peter back for this weekend’s game. I think Dewaldt (Duvenage) did well at flyhalf last week. It does help though to have some experienced guys back and it should be a boost for the team.”
The team have now settled in nicely in Sydney and Schalk has enjoyed the time they have had in Australia so far. “The weather hasn’t been perfect since we have been here, but it is a lot warmer than in New Zealand. We had a run on the beach this week, which was great. It is far more like Cape Town weather, which obviously is boost for us.”
Peter Grant has been bracketed with Kurt Coleman, as the team will assess whether he is 100% later this week. Our boys make their way to the capital on Friday morning, as the team look to continue their momentum in Australia.
DHL Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Juan de Jongh, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant (or Kurt Coleman), Dewaldt Duvenage, Nick Koster, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (captain), Andries Bekker, Anton van Zyl, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw. Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitschoff, Anton van Zyl, Duane Vermeulen, Ricky Januarie, Jean de Villiers, Johann Sadie.