Stormers ready to go Lion hunting ahead of NZ tour

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:00

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers do not want to lose any momentum before they head to New Zealand for a tough three-match tour.

The Cape side, who have dazzled at times with an expansive style this season, are one of two unbeaten teams left in this year's Super Rugby tournament and they are currently at the top of the combined Super Rugby standings after their impressive 34-26 win over the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers play the Lions next at Newlands in a mouthwatering South African derby and another big win will set them up nicely before their matches against the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders in New Zealand.  

"I think we have been playing a really good brand of rugby this year," said Stormers centre Daniel du Plessis.

"I think the challenge for us against the Chiefs was to keep playing that brand of rugby and just not go back into our shells. That is what we did really well last weekend and I believe the guys can take that forward for the next few games. 

"It [Lions match] is the last game before we go on tour and it is really important for us to go on a high to New Zealand and I believe the boys can do that."

Du Plessis and EW Viljoen have formed a good partnership in the midfield for the Stormers over the past few weeks and last weekend's clash against the Chiefs presented them with their biggest challenge of the season so far.

The duo came up against All Blacks Stephen Donald and Anton Lienert-Brown in the midfield and it was an experience that Du Plessis believes will put them in good stead ahead of their next few matches. 

"It was our first time playing against New Zealand teams and I am sure it was for other guys as well," Du Plessis added.

"We did have a few youngsters in the team and it was a bit of a change for us. They [Chiefs] played a high-tempo game and that is what we expected. 

"They tested us quite a lot - to pull it through and come out with the win was really good for our confidence and a great experience. We will take a lot out of that, especially for EW and myself."

The Lions also possess quality players across the paddock and a name that will attract Du Plessis' attention is Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Du Plessis and Janse van Rensburg will go head-to-head in the midfield at Newlands if things go to plan and both are selected.

"He [Janse van Rensburg] is a really good player. He got his Bok cap towards the end of last year, which he deserved - he had a great season last year and obviously for me it is a huge challenge if I start in the 12 position again. 

"We had them [Lions] in the pre-season games and he was really tough. They have a good backline and they play a similar brand of rugby to the New Zealand teams, so luckily, we faced that last weekend and we had a little taste before we play them. 

"It should be a good challenge for us and it should be a good challenge for me and I am looking forward to it," said Du Plessis.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19