Preview: Stormers v Chiefs

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:35

SUPER RUGBY QUARTERFINAL: The Stormers have been determined to change to a more expansive game. but they may have to rely on their more traditional strengths.

Defence and physicality is what brought the Stormers success in recent years and will be key elements ay Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers' shaky defence against New Zealand teams certainly make the host vulnerable - having conceded 30 tries against Kiwi opposition.

However, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck feels their record at home is far better and they will cope with the Chiefs' high-paced game.

The Stormers conceded 24 tries in three matches on tour in New Zealand and just six in two matches at Newlands this year.

The Chiefs have one of the best defensive records in the competition - having conceded just 30 tries in 15 matches. The only team with a more stingy defence is the Lions - 27 tries conceded in 15 matches.

The Stormers believe they have the ability to crack the Chiefs' defensive wall and outscore the visitors.

Chiefs captain Sam Cane said defence is always a focus.

"It is half the game," Cane told a media briefing in Cape Town, adding: "The longer we can hold onto the ball, the less we have to defend."

Stormers captain Siyamthanda Kolisi pointed to the breakdown as the most "important" aspect in Saturday's showdown.

"We have seen them [what the Chiefs can do] when they get quick ball and what type of players they have," Kolisi said.

"They are dangerous when they control the tempo of the game, so the breakdowns are going to be important this weekend."

Kolisi also spoke of the 'change of mindset' this year.

"We can't [afford to] run into people the whole time or kick just because we are under pressure," he said, adding: "We have been taught to play proper rugby.

"When it is open [space] in front of you, no matter where you are on the field, have a go.

"Teams that have won the competition in recent years, that is what they get right.

"That is what we have to also get right on Saturday [the decision-making], to see what is happening in front of us."

Fleck admitted his decision to recall season loose forward Rynhardt Elstadt is because of the physicality he brings to the game.

"He will bring something different to the loose trio and the pack," Fleck said.

"We all know this is going to be a nice physical game. He has a role to play in that, [because] we need to match them physically."

Recent results:
2017: Stormers won 34-26, Cape Town
2016: Chiefs won 60-21, Cape Town (quarterfinal)
2015: Chiefs won 28-19, Cape Town
2014: Chiefs win 36-20, Hamilton
2013: Stormers won 36-34, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers earned an eight-point win against the Chiefs when they met in Round Seven this season and will search for back-to-back wins against them for the first time since 2008; however, the Chiefs earned a comprehensive 60-21 win when these teams met in last season's quarter-finals. The Stormers have only one Finals Series win to their name in Super Rugby history despite playing in eight such fixtures. The Chiefs have won five and drawn one of their seven fixtures away from home this season; their only road loss came when they travelled to Cape Town in Round Seven. The Chiefs have conceded only 13 first-half tries so far this season, the fewest of any team in the competition and 20 fewer than the Stormers. Sarel Marais has made 31 offloads so far this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition and six more than Chiefs' best Damian McKenzie (25). The Stormers showed they can beat the Chiefs back in May and they will need the 'bounce of the ball' to go their way to repeat that feat. We feel the Chiefs are better in certain key positions and will win by seven points.

Determining Winners if teams are tied at full-time:
a) Extra Time - the procedure will be:
i) After a five minute rest period, the extra time is played in two 10 minute periods with a two minute half-time;
ii) Before the extra time begins, the match Referee will do a coin toss with the two captains one minute before the new kick-off. The winner of the coin toss decides if his team wants to kick-off or if his team wants to choose the side of the pitch it wants to play on for the first 10 minute period;
iii) For the second 10 minute period, the teams change sides and the team that did not kick off in the first period does so;
iv) Coaches are not permitted on the field during the rest period or half-time.
v) Teams and match officials must remain on the field during the rest period and at half-time.
vi) Injury time is added to the two 10 minute periods.
b) Sudden Death - if the match is still tied at the end of extra time, the procedure will be:
i) An up to 10 minute sudden death period is played after another five minute rest period;
ii) The first team to score (by a penalty, drop-goal or try) will be the winner;
iii) As for extra time, one minute before sudden death begins, the match Referee will do a coin toss to choose which team kicks-off and on which side of the pitch they will play.
iv) Teams and match officials must remain on the field during the rest period.
v) Injury time is added to this period of play.
c) Kicking Competition  - if the match is still tied at the end of sudden death, the referee will conduct a place kicking competition to determine the winner of the match, according to the following procedures:
i) All Players and Match officials will remain on the Playing Area. The referee will call the captains of the two teams together and will conduct a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss then may either choose which Team kicks first (in which case the loser chooses the end at which all place kicks will be taken) or choose the end at which all place kicks will be taken (in which case the loser chooses which team kicks first).

Each team must nominate five players to take part in the competition. Only players on the playing area at the final whistle of extra time may be nominated. No substituted players, injury-replaced players or players who have been shown a red card may take part at any time. For clarification purposes, any player who has received a yellow card and who remains in the sin bin at the time of the final whistle of extra time may not take part in the place kick competition (including during ‘sudden death'). The order in which the nominated players will kick does not have to be pre-determined. The match officials and the 10 nominated players (five from each team) will assemble on the half-way line. Team management and players not nominated must remain behind the half-way line in the side of the playing area not used. No one other than the match officials, the match manager, two ball persons and the participating players are allowed in the part of the playing area being used for the competition (including around the playing area, behind the posts, etc).The five players from each team will place kick from three different points, all on the 22 metre line, as follows:
* First point: directly in front of the posts
* Second point: on the 15 metre line on the left hand side facing the posts
* Third point: on the 15 metre line on the right hand side facing the posts. The referee will start the competition by calling the first player selected from the team kicking first to the first kicking point. Once the player has taken the place kick, the referee calls a player from the opposing team to take his place kick from the same point. The next two players (one from each team) will place kick from the second point in turn. This will continue until all five players from each team have place kicked (the next players place kicking respectively from the third point, the first point and finally the second point), or until one team is unable to equal the score of the other team within the remaining number of kicks (at which time the referee will declare the winner).If there are an equal number of successful kicks once each team has completed its five place kicks, the competition continues on a 'sudden death' basis, following the same order of kickers used in the first five kicks. The competition will continue two kickers at a time (one from each team), going progressively through the three kicking points as stated above (and repeating the process if necessary) until one player succeeds with a place kick and the player from the other team taking the same place kick misses it. Once this occurs, the team of the player who succeeded with the place kick will be declared the winner. Each of these additional kicks shall be taken by the same five players in rotation. Throughout the place kicking competition:
* Once a player has positioned the ball on the kicking tee, he must take the kick within one minute.  Should he take longer, the referee shall declare the kick unsuccessful.  
* After each kick, the referee records the number of the player and whether or not the attempt was successful. The sideline manager/substitution recorder will record the same details on the official match report.
* Whether or not the kick is successful in each case is the sole decision of the referee, who may at his sole discretion rely on the assistance of his assistant referees. The referee's decision shall be final and binding.
* Once a player has completed their place kick, they shall return to stand with their team behind the half-way line in the side of the playing area not used.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Seabelo Senatla, 23 Juan de Jongh.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Solomon Alaimalo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Date: Saturday, July 22
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 03.00 NZ time, Sunday, July 23)
Expected weather: Periods of clouds and sun. High of  17°C and a low of 8°C
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Quinton Immelman
TMO: Johan Greeff

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports & sportguru.info

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