It is going to be a physical battle ... that is where the game will be won and lost
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee knows exactly how the Sharks will look to attack his team in their semifinal at Newlands on Saturday.
After topping the standings at the end of the regular season the Cape side have enjoyed the luxury of a week's rest and homeground advantage in their play-off matches, but they face a Sharks team on red-hot form.
The Durban side travelled all the way to Brisbane last week to deliver a knock-out blow to the defending champion Reds on their home turf, and they will be looking for a repeat performance in Cape Town on Saturday.
Both matches between the sides this season have been tight affairs which were edged by the home team, but the most instructive for Coetzee was the 25-20 loss in Durban.
That defeat, which was one of only two matches the Stormers have lost in their campaign this year, holds a number of valuable lessons for Coetzee's men as it captures the keys to the Sharks' resurgence this season.
The Sharks gathered some valuable momentum in the second half of the season as they welcomed several important players back from injury, and in that time they have shown that when they click they can beat any team in the competition.
There are a number of similarities between the Sharks' comprehensive victory over the Reds last week and their win against the Stormers the last time the two teams met, and they are similarities which are not lost on Coetzee.
In both games the Sharks started quickly and built up a commanding first-half lead by putting immense pressure on the opposition at set-piece time and making the most of the turnover ball they were handed, whilst dominating the collisions throughout.
In Durban the Stormers fought back to narrow the gap to 25-20 through a determined second-half effort, but in Brisbane the Sharks showed impressive defensive mettle to hold the desperate Reds out for long periods of time.
This season the Stormers have relied on starting well and then defending their lead by keeping their discipline and wearing the opposition down.
It is for this reason that the first 40 minutes will be so important this weekend, as both teams will be keen to establish early dominance.
Coetzee recalls that first half at Kings Park all too clearly and revealed that he had been particularly unhappy with his team's limp effort as they allowed the home side to put them under pressure.
He said: "In that particular first-half performance from the Sharks they really put a helluva lot of pressure on our set-piece, we had three defensive set-pieces in our own half - two line-outs and one scrum - which got turned over.
"We were very unhappy with our first-half performance in Durban, especially the way we conceded possession so easily.
"If you give the Sharks turnover ball on a platter then they really make it look like a gift because they use it and go score," Coetzee explained.
The Stormers coach knows that if his team are to impose themselves on the Sharks then they will need to be accurate in the set-pieces and protect the ball carefully in contact, but most important will be to confront the visitors physically.
"It will be a typical derby this weekend, it will be a close one because the teams know each other very well and if you look at the two matches between them this season there were just three points between them at Newlands and just five points in Durban.
"It is going to be a physical battle, that is where the game will be won and lost before you talk tactical and technical stuff," he said.
Coetzee said that his team will not tinker with the approach that has got them into this position and stressed the need for his side to use the inevitable pressure to their advantage on Saturday.
"You have got to make sure that in semi's you play to your strengths, and you get out of your half well and you are clinical in those aspects of the game.
"For us it is an opportunity and you don't want to disappoint yourself again so we understand the expectation and I think the big thing for us is to realise and embrace the pressure.
"We have gone and implemented a plan which has got us to where we are, so I just hope that we can continue with this plan and make sure that we can contest the final at Newlands," he said.
By Michael de Vries, from the Stormers camp