Super Rugby

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Everything you need to know about the Blues vs Stormers

Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is determined to be as clinical as possible when they take on the Blues in Auckland.

Super Rugby

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The Blues will take on the Stormers this Saturday in Round 6 of the 2019 Super Rugby season in Auckland.

While disappointed with the outcome against the Hurricanes in Wellington, the Stormers are encouraged by the effort and their gameplan which will both be key factors going forward.

Although they had an opportunity to win it with an attacking line-out at the end, it was not to be as the Hurricanes held on for a tense 34-28 win.

“We will do our work on the Blues this week and come up with another plan, we wanted to target the Hurricanes up front and it worked,” said Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck.

“We got a number of penalties from our maul and scored from our maul, we got penalties from our scrum and when we carried hard we got some ascendency there.

“It was a game that we certainly should have won, so we are a bit frustrated with that. In terms of the effort, it was outstanding and in terms of the plan it was really good in the first half and the beginning of the second half,” he added.

He also said that his team is determined to be as clinical as possible in Auckland.

“We have got great energy among the group and the players are all keen to get out there and show what we are capable of, so we are looking forward to it.

“It will be important for us to be composed and focused as we look to keep improving and building our game,” he said.

Blues team and injury news

A powerful display off the bench last week has earned All Black Patrick Tuipulotu a start for the Blues.

Tuipulotu is one of only two changes to the Blues team that beat the Highlanders at home last week. In the backs, Otere Black will start with Harry Plummer to come off the bench.

The in-form props Alex Hodgman and Sione Mafileo will start together for the third time which means Karl Tu’inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi will again look to make a significant impact off the bench in the second half.

The loose forward combination of Blake Gibson, who shares the captaincy with Tuipulotu, Tom Robinson and Akira Ioane combine for the third time in the starting line-up, while Dalton Papalii will add impetus off the bench.

The midfield duo of Ma’a Nonu and TJ Faiane are paired again, with Sonny Bill Williams, back after a week off, on the reserves’ bench.

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tanielu Tele’a, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman

Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Sonny Bill Williams

Stormers team and injury news

The Stormers have made six changes to their starting line-up.

Damian Willemse comes in at fullback, with Dillyn Leyds shifting to the left wing and Dan du Plessis back at outside centre. Flyhalf Joshua Stander comes onto the replacements bench.

There are two rotational switches up front, with Jaco Coetzee at No.8 and Wilco Louw at tighthead prop, while a fit-again Eben Etzebeth comes into the second row in place of the injured JD Schickerling. As a result utility forward Cobus Wiese will be among the replacements.

Following feedback from a specialist, Schickerling has returned to Cape Town to recover from a shoulder injury and is expected to be out for three weeks. Loose forward Kobus van Dyk has joined the squad in his place.

Lock Salmaan Moerat is not available this weekend due to concussion sustained against the Hurricanes, but is expected to be fit next week.

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 SP Marais

Kick off time

Saturday, 30 March at 08:35 (SAST).

TV & Live Stream

The game will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (SS1).