RECAP: Stormers v Sunwolves
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Super Rugby Round 17 between the Stormers and Sunwolves at Newlands.
Injuries have not aided their cause, but the Stormers know nothing less than a bonus-point win over the lowly Sunwolves will keep their fading play-off dreams alive.
With an equally desperate Sharks team scheduled to visit Newlands in a next week’s final round of league action, beating the Japanese franchise is a prerequisite.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his side is looking forward to the match this weekend.
“We always get incredible support at Newlands,” Fleck said.
“The team has responded to well to the fans in recent home games, so we want to deliver another good performance in front of our fans.
“We will need to bring plenty of energy, but at the same time be as composed and accurate as possible in all that we do.
“We look forward to the challenge,” he added.
2018: Sunwolves won 26-23, Hong Kong
2017: Stormers won 52-15, Cape Town
2017: Stormers won 44-31, Singapore
2016: Stormers and Sunwolves drew 17-all, Singapore
2016: Stormers won 46-19, Cape Town
Prediction: The Sunwolves were victorious in their most recent Super Rugby fixture against the Stormers (May 2018), coming from behind at half-time to win 26-23 and snapping a four-game winless run against the Cape Town side in the process. The Stormers have lost just one of their last seven games at home in Super Rugby, and are undefeated in their last three. The Sunwolves have lost their last seven games on the bounce in Super Rugby, conceding an average of 40 points per game in that span. The Sunwolves (94 percent) and Stormers (83 percent) boast the two best goal-kicking accuracies of all teams in the competition in Super Rugby 2019. Dillyn Leyds (Stormers) has scored four tries and made three try assists in his last two Super Rugby games against the Sunwolves.
As it happened: Stormers v Sunwolves
Kick-off: 17.15 (local); (15.15 GMT, 00.15 Sunday, June 9 Japan time.
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Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Josh Stander, 23 EW Viljoen.
Sunwolves: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker (captain), 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Alex Wooton.
Replacements: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Matasaka Mikama, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Timothy Lefaela, 23 Akihito Yamada.
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)