The kick-off for the North-South Derby is at 17h15 on Saturday, as the DHL Stormers look to make it two straight wins at the start of the season, following their 27-0 victory against the Hurricanes last weekend. The match is live on SS1.
There are just two injury-enforced changes to the Capetonians’ starting team which did duty last week and both are in the forward pack, with Springboks Bongi Mbonambi and Siya Kolisi both ruled out due to injury.
Scarra Ntubeni is set to play in the front row in between Malherbe and Steven Kitshoff, who will take over the captaincy from Kolisi, while Johan du Toit starts in the back row at No 8 alongside his brother Pieter-Steph.
Meanwhile, Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane – like Malherbe a 2019 RWC winner – has been named to start alongside fellow Bok prop Lizo Gqoboka in the Vodacom Bulls’ front row for Saturday’s visit to Cape Town. His selection is the only change to the starting team, with Wiehahn Herbst shifting to the bench.
The DHL Stormers have won their last eight home matches on the bounce against the Vodacom Bulls since the men from Pretoria’s last triumph in Cape Town in 2011.
What they said:
DHL Stormers coach John Dobson said that his players are determined to build on their performance last week in what should be a typically fierce South African derby: “We know there are some areas in which we can make a step up and we are expecting a hugely physical challenge on Saturday, so we cannot afford to lose focus. This will be the last north-south Vodacom Super Rugby derby at Newlands, so it will be another piece of history for the rugby-mad people of this region.”
Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human was happy with his team’s discipline last week in Durban where they only conceded five penalties, but said this week’s preparations included serious conversations about finishing try scoring opportunities: “Our discipline was good on the night which allowed us to stay in the game but we cannot afford to fluff so many opportunities. Vodacom Super Rugby is extremely brutal so when the try line presents itself then we must take full advantage of it.”
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Johan du Toit, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kithsoff (captain). Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Ersnt van Rhyn, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Jeandré Rudolph, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Head to head:
DHL Stormers won: 19
Vodacom Bulls won: 13
DHL Stormers points: 730
Vodacom Bulls points: 763
Average score: 22-23
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Date: Saturday 8 February
SA time: 17h15
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds, Divan Uys
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans