Stormers v Chiefs - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 07/03/13 3:48pm

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Defending champions Chiefs face a challenge when they take on a wounded Stormers side at Fedsure Park in Cape Town on Saturday.

The highly-touted Stormers have won 21 of their last 27 matches on home soil, but have so far made had a horrid start to their campaign, losing two local derbies to the Bulls and Sharks.

Meanwhile, the visitors returned home from South Africa unbeaten in 2012 and have made an unblemished start to the new season with a couple of bonus-point wins against the Highlanders and the Cheetahs.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has kept faith with his players by naming an unchanged starting XV to try to turn their season around.

The only changes Coetzee has made are on his bench with fit-again Springbok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg coming in for Martin Bezuidenhout and Dewaldt Duvenage replacing Louis Schreuder as the back-up half-back.

Meanwhile, Dave Rennie has made several changes to his side ahead of the game.

Mahonri Schwalger starts at hooker and Tanerau Latimer at No 6 for the first time this season, while Craig Clarke resumes his starting spot at lock and Liam Messam moves to No 8.

Charlie Ngatai starts in the No 12 Jersey. Nick Crosswell makes his debut for the Chiefs and Andrew Horrell comes back in from injury. Hika Elliot and Augustine Pulu join the reserves.

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (Capt), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Peter Grant, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.

Chiefs: 15 Pauliasi Manu, 14 Mahonri Schwalger, 13 Ben Afeaki, 12 Craig Clark (Capt), 11 Brodie Retallick, 10 Tanerau Latimerm, 9 Sam Cane, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 6 Aaron Cruden, 5 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 4 Charlie Ngatai, 3 Tim Nanai-Williams, 2 Lelia Masaga, 1 Gareth Anscombe.

Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Patrick Osborne.

What they said...

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee

Coetzee admits it's a challenge countering the New Zealand style after two stifling matches first-up. "We've just come off two real physical battles and it's going to be a physical battle out there on Saturday.

"This week we're playing against the champions and the battle will be even more uphill.

"By retaining the same team, we're giving some of the injured players an extra week for rehabilitation.

"We're back at Newlands, where we have a passionate suuport behind us, and that should give us an extra push."

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