The Force are reaching for the top of the Super Rugby competition. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
Stormers v Force
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Sunday May 18 – 1:05 AM (AEST)
Everyone is on the Western Force bandwagon. Why wouldn’t you be? They are playing out of their skin and entertaining fans. Beating the Cheetahs last week 23-16, the Force are pushing for the top spot on the ladder. The Stormers on the other hand are sitting on the bottom.
Western Force coach Michael Foley says it’s important that his men finish their South African tour strongly. Showing they can grind out tough games with victory over the Cheetahs, the boys from Perth need to continue that consistency. Perth-born inside back Luke Burton will make his Super Rugby debut, replacing the injured Kyle Godwin (knee) at inside centre. Former Stormers outside back Marcel Brache shifts from outside centre to the wing in place of Dane Haylett-Petty (groin). Foley has retained the same forward pack as last week, as well as Ian Prior and Sias Ebersohn in the halves.
The Stormers are dead last. But the thing about those in last place, they have nothing to lose. They are unpredictable, willing to try anything. With that in mind, the Stormers could definitely steal this one from under the Force’s nose. Peter Grant will play his 100th game for the Stormers, slotting into fly-half. Joining him with a milestone is prop Brock Harris, who plays his 200th game for Western Province Rugby. Damian de Allende shifts from right-wing to inside centre, while Michael Rhodes and Kobus van Wyk return from injury.
The Force should be a sure thing. But anything can happen in Rugby, and with the Stormers willing to chance their hand, who knows? The underdog may just get up.
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