Only two South African sides will be in action during this week’s Vodacom Super Rugby round five-action, with both sides hosting gripping home games.
The DHL Stormers will face the Jaguares in Cape Town on Friday evening after their one-week break, while the Emirates Lions host the visiting Rebels in Saturday’s feature game.
The Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks and Blues all have byes this weekend. The match in the Cape kicks off at 19h10 and the Joburg game at 15h05. All the matches will be live on SuperSport 1.
Refreshed DHL Stormers look to retain momentum
DHL Stormers coach, Robbie Fleck, made four changes to his side for their home clash on Friday evening against the Jaguares where the side will look to maintain their winning momentum after toppling the Cell C Sharks in their previous outing two weeks ago.
Steven Kitshoff, Scarra Ntubeni and Juarno Augustus will all make their first starts of the season as Fleck made several rotations, while the only change in the backline sees Dillyn Leyds come in at fullback.
Utility forward Cobus Wiese, meanwhile, returns from injury, and will feature among the replacements in what marks the team’s last home clash before a four-week tour of Australasia.
The Jaguares picked up a 25-14 win in the last meeting between the sides, which ended a three-game losing streak against the Capetonians.
Siya Kolisi’s team, who come off back-to-back wins, have won seven of their last nine outings on home turf.
In stark contrast, the South Americans – who made wholesale changes to their team – will be desperate to snap a worrying four-game losing run on the road, which has seen them concede more than 40 points on three occasions during that time.
What they said:
DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said: “We are looking forward to being back at DHL Newlands for what will be a tough match against the Jaguares on Friday. The players are focused on raising our standards further as we look to keep building and creating momentum.”
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Damian Willemse.
Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet (captain) 14 Bautista Delguy 13 Matias Moroni 12 Bautista Ezcurra 11 Ramiro Moyano 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla 9 Tomas Cubelli 8 Javier Ortega Desio 7 Tomas Lezana 6 Pablo Matera 5 Tomas Lavanini 4 Guido Petti 3 Santiago Medrano 2 Julian Montoya 1 Mayco Vivas. Replacements: 16 Gaspar Baldunciel, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Juan Cruz Mallia, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere.
Head to head:
DHL Stormers won: 3
Jaguares won: 1
DHL Stormers points: 87
Jaguares points: 78
Average score: 22-20
Date: Friday, 15 March
SA time: 19h10
Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, Newlands
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rasta Rasivhenge
Television Match Official: Christie du Preez
Prediction: DHL Stormers by 10.
Emirates Lions look to kick on against visiting Rebels
Swys de Bruin, the Emirates Lions coach, again tweaked his side, which shows four changes in the starting team – two each amongst the backs and forwards – for Saturday’s clash with the Rebels in Johannesburg.
The two changes to the Highvelders’ back three sees Tyrone Green come in for Andries Coetzee and Ruan Combrinck for Sylvian Mahuza, while there is a fresh lock combination in Stephan Lewies and fit-again Marvin Orie, who slot in for Ryno Hattingh and Ruan Vermaak respectively.
Rebels coach Dave Wessels has made five changes to the team that defeated the Brumbies last Friday in Melbourne. They are unbeaten after three outings and is top of the Australian Conference.
This will be the fifth meeting between the teams, with the Johannesburg team prevailing in each of their four prior clashes. The Highvelders have won their last four matches at home against overseas teams, scoring 40 points or more on each occasion.
The Rebels, on the other hand, head into the fixture fresh off victories in their last three games, and a fourth consecutive win would mark a record for the Melbourne franchise.
Elton Jantjies (Emirate Lions), Quade Cooper (Rebels) and Will Genia (Rebels) have each made four try assists in Vodacom Super Rugby 2019, more than any other players in the competition.
What they said:
Emirates Lions coach Swys de Bruin said: “The youngsters performed very well for us last week against the Jaguares. This week we face a difficult Rebels team and we will have to be accurate and take our chances if we want to kick on with our momentum.”
Emirates Lions: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Andries Coetzee.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner. Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Marika Koroibete.
Head to head:
Emirates Lions won: 4
Emirates Lions points: 138
Average score: 35-19
Date: Saturday, 16 March
SA time: 15h05
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Cwengile Jadezweni
Television Match Official: Willie Vos
Prediction: Emirates Lions by five.
Other Round 5 matches this weekend:
Friday, 15 March
08h35: Chiefs v Hurricanes, FMG Stadium, Waikato
10h45: Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday, 16 March
06h15: Sunwolves v Reds, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
08h35: Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin