DHL Stormers Must Beat Benetton In Stellenbosch


The DHL Stormers will be in action first when they take the field on Friday evening against Benetton in Stellenbosch at 18:30 where they will be targeting a victory to keep alive their hopes of leaping back into second place on the standings for a possible home semi-final should they be among the last four sides standing.

They are already guaranteed of a home quarter-final, but if they finish this round in third place, they will have to travel abroad if they advance to the semi-finals.

The Capetonians were displaced from second place by Ulster last week following their defeat against Munster. The Irish outfit from Belfast hold a one-point lead on the standings, so the DHL Stormers are expected to give everything for a big win, as they play before Ulster, whose match against Edinburgh starts at 20:35 on Friday night.

The defending champions from Cape Town have a few factors counting in their favour, including a better winning record and home ground advantage, but they will be wary of the threat posed by Benetton, who still have a small mathematical chance of sneaking into the quarter-finals provided they register a big win.

Scrumhalf Paul de Wet will play his 50th match for the DHL Stormers. There are a number of changes to the DHL Stormers team for the final match of the regular season.

Clayton Blommetjies is at fullback and is joined in the back three by Angelo Davids, with Damian Willemse moving to inside centre to partner Dan du Plessis in midfield and Ruhan Nel among the replacements in a rotational switch.

Having featured off the replacements bench last week, Evan Roos starts at No.8, with Hacjivah Dayimani moving to blindside flank.

There are two changes to the front row, with prop Neethling Fouche and hooker JJ Kotze coming into the starting line-up.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that it was important to ensure that everyone in the squad has enough gametime under the belt ahead of the play-offs.

“We have made a few rotational changes to make sure that everyone will be ready to perform in the knock-out phase of the competition.

“We want to raise our game and put in a confidence-building performance to take some momentum forward,” he said.


DHL Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Jean-Jacques Kotze, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c). Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Ruhan Nel.

Benetton: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Joaquin Riera, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (c), 8 Henry Time-Stowers, 7 Manuel Zuliani, 6 Alessandro Izekor, 5 Riccardo Favretto, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Filippo Alongi, 2 Siua Maile, 1 Thomas Gallo. Replacements: 16 Bautista Bernasconi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Nahuel Tetaz , 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Lorenzo Cannone, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Tommaso Menoncello.