Stormers v Cardiff - Teams and Prediction
ROUND SEVEN RESCHEDULED: Stormers will look to build on their winning streak when they host Cardiff at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.
From a big win against Zebre Parma last week, the Stormers will not be short of motivation as their look to secure a third consecutive win.
The Cape Town franchise haven’t won three home games in a row since 2020 during the Super Rugby season.
However, it is going to be a tricky encounter for the hosts.
The winning margins between the team have been close, with the eighth-placed Capetonians earning five victories in their 11 games and Cardiff -in 13th position- sitting on four wins from nine games.
Cardiff have suffered two successive defeats in the competition and they have not lost three on the trot for two years.
The Welsh side have played five previous URC games in South Africa, gaining two victories – both against the Southern Kings.
Return of Kitzie
In terms of team news, the Springbok loosehead Steven Kitshoff is back in the Stormers line-up having been rested for the emphatic victory over Zebre Parma in Stellenbosch last week.
Brok Harris shifts to tighthead as a result and Neethling Fouche drops to the bench, while the backline is unchanged.
Cardiff saw Rey Lee-Lo, Aled Sumerhill, Owen Lane and Shane Lewis-Hughes all depart South Africa this week due to injuries sustained against the Lions.
Theo Cabango – brother of Welsh football international Ben Cabango – will make his URC debut on the wing, while Jason Harries starts on the opposite flank.
Max Llewellyn replaces Lee-Lo at centre, hooker Kristian Dacey makes his first start of the season and Ellis Jenkins is also among those to come into the XV.
Stormers head coach John Dobson braced his side for a tough tussle.
“Cardiff are a good side, all the Welsh teams are very physical and play with good structure,” Dobson said.
“They have been training in Cape Town last week, so that will be another challenge.
“We can’t rest on our laurels going into the game.
“I played against Cardiff a few times when I was overseas and it can be really tough.”
Meanwhile, Cardiff head coach Dai Young labelled Stormers as a real force.
“Looking at Stormers, they’re a real force. They play real attractive rugby with a dominant force up front.
“They have backs with pace to burn and some real physicality. It’ll be a real challenge but one we’re looking forward to.
“The tempo and physicality of their game will be a real test for us. They can all play rugby. They can all carry strongly, pass and the backs hit the ball at real pace.
“For me, it’s all about the gain line, physicality and winning collisions. If they get quick ball it could be a long night for us.”
@rugby365com: Stormers by five points
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Cardiff: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Theo Cabango, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Botham, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull (c), 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Corey Domachowski
Replacements: 16 Keiron Assiratti, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Will Davies-King, 19 Teddy Williams, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Hallam Amos
Date: Sunday, March 20
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 UK & Ireland time; 12.00 GMT)
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa); Morné Ferreira (South Africa)
TMO: Adam Jones (Wales)