Stormers face comprehensive test

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:12
Large stormers scrum machine630 Large hurricanes v stormers2 Large hurricanes v stormers3

Stormers forwards coach Matt Proudfoot expects the Blues to test his side 'on all levels' in their clash in Albany this weekend.

Stormers forwards coach Matt Proudfoot expects the Blues to test his side 'on all levels' in their clash in Albany this weekend.

The Cape outfit got their Australasian tour off to a winning start last week when they squeezed past the Hurricanes in Palmerston North, but the coaching staff are adamant that they will have to raise their game considerably if they are to compete with a dangerous Blues side.

Coach John Kirwan's team suffered a narrow defeat against the Reds in Brisbane last week, and they will be looking to get back on track against the tourists.

Speaking from Auckland on Tuesday, Proudfoot said: "We weren't quite where we wanted to be against the Hurricanes.

"Some things we did pretty well, but other areas did not go so well for us... We watched the Blues against the Reds and saw their intensity, so we know that we have to be at our best for what is going to be a really big challenge," he added.

Proudfoot explained that the Stormers are feeling confident that they can meet the challenge that the Blues will present at Albany's North Harbour Stadium - a new Super Rugby venue for the Stormers, whose eight previous away encounters against the Blues have all been played in Auckland.

"We're looking forward to facing the Blues; we're training well, today's sessions were great. The team is in a very good space - it's all about making sure that the detail is there and then accepting the challenge against one of the traditional powerhouses of New Zealand rugby. It's going to be exciting and a big challenge for the boys," he said.

According to reports, veteran Blues hooker Keven Mealamu is set to return to the starting line-up this week and his combination with fellow All Black Ali Williams will be crucial for the home side - who, like the Stormers, have played eight games so far this season; also winning four and losing four.

"Keven Mealamu is probably the most experienced hooker in New Zealand rugby at the moment - he played his 100th match at DHL Newlands last year - he's really experienced. Ali Williams is really fantastic at the line-out, but I think they're a side that can test us both at scrum and line-out time," said Proudfoot.

"More than that, there's that proud tradition of the Blues. I remember playing against them back in 1996/97 - when they were the champions. They're an unbelievable Super Rugby franchise - it's going to be a big challenge on all levels; technically, physically and also playing at a new stadium."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0