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Stats point to another Stormers victory over Sharks

STATISTICAL SPOTLIGHT: Pretty much all the stats point to the Stormers coming out on top as they take on the Sharks for the second time in a month in the United Rugby Championship.

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John Dobson’s defending champions won 46-19 in Durban at the beginning of February and now they are at home in Cape Town where they have won 17 consecutive fixtures.

In terms of their attacking threat, they are proving to be very effective from just about anywhere.

They have scored more tries (15) from their own half than any other team in the URC, while they have also touched down from a league-high 40 percent of their 22 entries.

To add further to their productivity, they have the competition’s top-points scorer in Manie Libbok, who continues at flyhalf. He has racked up an impressive 134 points, thanks to an 81 percent success rate off the kicking tee.

Moreover, the Sharks went down to a 24-31 defeat at home to Ulster in a rearranged fixture last weekend, so the form book doesn’t look too healthy for them.

Director of Rugby Neil Powell has unsurprisingly made a number of changes for Saturday’s South African derby.

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One man who does keep his place is centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and he has proved a real weapon this season, beating more defenders than any other player (31), while the visitors are pretty potent at scrum time, having scored more tries (seven) from scrums than any other team.

Jukskei derby

Meanwhile, the Bulls are favourites heading into their derby match against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.

There are a few players the Bulls will look to for inspiration when they run out on the field.

Having missed just 10 minutes of rugby this season, captain Ruan Nortje has played more URC minutes than any other player (1,110).

He has also made the most clear-outs in the league (73).

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Elrigh Louw has made the most metres in contact in the URC (171), equating to an average of 1.13 contact metres per carry.

Louw has also made the most dominant carries this season (48).

Marco van Staden has won as many turnovers as any other player this season (14, = Thomas Young). Eleven of these have been jackals.

The Lions’ rearranged fixture against the Glasgow Warriors last weekend was their least disciplined performance of the season so far: they conceded three cards, two yellow and one red.

Emmanuel Tshituka made more carries than any other player in the rescheduled Round Six matches (16). Fourteen of his 35 metres made were in contact.

Sanele Nohamba was the only player last weekend to make two try assists. He has made five so far this season.

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