URC – Preview – DHL Stormers Looking To Remain Unbeaten At Home Against Ulster


The battle between the fifth-placed DHL Stormers and seventh-placed Ulster on Saturday at 19:15 (SA Time) could prove to be a spectacle, although the Capetonians will look to take advantage of their home ground advantage and better defensive record to give them an edge.

With the DHL Stormers remaining unbeaten at home this season and coming off a morale-boosting 43-21 victory against Edinburgh, Ulster will enter the match knowing that a massive challenge lies ahead, and with the losing team possibly facing the risk of falling out of the top eight depending on the other results this weekend, neither side will hold back.

With the DHL Stormers having conceded 30 points fewer than the opposition in their opening 12 games, Ulster is expected to place a big emphasis on converting their chances into points to keep alive their hopes of creating an upset.

Loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani earns his 50th DHL Stormers cap.

The return of Warrick Gelant at fullback sees Damian Willemse move back to inside centre, with Dan du Plessis on his outside in midfield.
Dayimani starts at blindside flank, with Willie Engelbrecht on the other side of the scrum.

In the front row, Neethling Fouche and Joseph Dweba come into the starting line-up, with the experienced Frans Malherbe, JJ Kotze and Leon Lyons the front-row replacements on a bench that also features Adre Smith, Ben-Jason Dixon and Marcel Theunissen.

DHL Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson said that his team is looking to back up their win against Edinburgh last week against a tough Ulster outfit.

“We showed good attacking intent against Edinburgh, but we know we can be far more accurate and we will certainly need to be against Ulster.
“It is another opportunity for us to move our game forward and we know we will get great support as ever at DHL Stadium,” he said.

Dobson congratulated Dayimani on reaching his milestone. “Hacjivah has been a phenomenon for us over the last three seasons and gives us a real point of difference. Hopefully, the team can deliver a good performance and make it a memorable occasion for him,” he said.

Ulster Rugby Interim Head Coach, Richie Murphy, has named his team for Ulster’s second match of the club’s South Africa tour.

Ulster will be aiming to end their time in South Africa with a positive result, after suffering a 22-12 away defeat to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.

Club captain, Iain Henderson, misses out due to illness this week.

Hooker, Rob Herring will lead the side as captain in Cape Town.

Joining him in the front row, World Cup-winning Springbok, Steven Kitshoff, returns to the DHL Stadium to face his former team, and Tom O’Toole starts at tighthead prop.

The second row sees Harry Sheridan and Kieran Treadwell start as the lock pairing, a week after both men scored tries in Durban.

In the back row, Matty Rea, starts as the blindside flanker, with David McCann and Nick Timoney retaining their places in the team at openside flanker and eight from last weekend.

John Cooney starts at scrum-half and is joined by Nathan Doak at ten to form the half-back partnership.

Ethan McIlroy starts on the left wing, with Rob Baloucoune returning to the starting line-up at right wing.

Stuart McCloskey and James Hume retain their partnership in the centre positions, and Mike Lowry completes the backfield at full-back.

Tom Stewart, Andrew Warwick, Scott Wilson, Cormac Izuchukwu, Marcus Rea, Dave Shanahan, Jake Flannery and Stewart Moore provide the replacement options from the bench.


DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (c), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Brok Harris. Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Ben Loader.

Ulster Rugby: 15 Mike Lowry, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Nathan Doak, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 David McCann, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Harry Sheridan, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring (c), 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Tom Stewart, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Cormac Izuchukwu, 20 Marcus Rea, 21 Dave Shanahan, 22 Jake Flannery, 23 Stewart Moore.