The Vodacom Stormers will be looking for their first win in the Vodacom Super 14 competition when they take on the Reds in their second match at Newlands on Friday evening.
The Reds finished 12th in last year’s competition and the Bulls easily accounted for them last Saturday at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. That doesn’t mean that the Stormers will be taking them lightly though.
“If you look a bit further back you will realise they are not a bad side,” said coach Rassie Erasmus. “They played well in the last six games and pushed teams like the Crusaders and the Force, and they even beat the Bulls last year.
“They have a lot gamebreakers in Digby Ioane, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper and Berrick Barnes. All those players are Wallabies. The scoreline at Loftus last week will suggest otherwise, but they should not be underestimated.”
Erasmus was not prepared to look any further than just a win. “If we had won last week, then we would have been in a position to say we are hunting five points this week”, said Erasmus, “but the win is the first priority.”
“The Reds are a dangerous team and they have a few very good game-breakers,” Erasmus said.
“Every game in the Super is important and we won’t be taking this match lightly at all. And we haven’t won a game in the Super 14 this year, so at this stage we aren’t thinking of bonus points or anything like that.
“Maybe if we won last week we would have thought about it but we have just been focusing on winning this Friday.”
Captain Jean de Villiers said they would continue to try and playing attacking rugby but they should be more aware of the situation on the field. “It comes down to the same answer every single time, which is making the right decisions on the field. Essentially, that is what rugby is about.”
Teams for Newlands:
Vodacom Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Jean De Villiers (captain)/Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Sireli Naqelevuki/Nick Koster, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 AJ Venter, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Des Fountain/Koster, 22 Percy Montgomery.
Reds: 15 Mark McLinden, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Charlie Fetoai, 12 Berrick Barnes (captain), 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Adam Byrnes, 4 Van Humphries, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Dayna Edwards, 18 Robert Simmons, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Brando Va’aulu.
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)