Cape Town - The Stormers travel to Bloemfontein this weekend knowing that they have lost their last three Super Rugby clashes against the Cheetahs at Toyota Stadium.
It is a statistic that is somewhat startling given the differing fortunes of the sides in recent years, and it is one that coach Robbie Fleck has used as motivation for his players all week.
But, according to captain Juan de Jongh, history will count for nothing when the sides meet on Saturday.
"We’re not focusing on the past now. It’s all about this weekend," De Jongh said on Thursday.
"They’re a different team. There are players that haven’t been there the past
three years and even in our squad as well.
"We’re starting on a clean slate. We
don’t want to think about it too much."
De Jongh added that the Stormers were expecting the Cheetahs to be explosive, particularly in the opening stages of the match.
"We know that they’re going to come out firing
… we saw it against the Jaguares last weekend … it’s not something that’s going
to shock us," he said.
Fleck agreed with his skipper.
"I think the Cheetahs have made it pretty clear the way they want
to play the game," he said.
"It’s part of their tradition and it’s their real strength.
They like to put you under pressure with a ball in hand approach and with a bit
of a wide game.
"It is slightly different to the Bulls and they’re not going to
Patience, said Fleck, was something that the Stormers would have to exercise against the Cheetahs.
"We probably needed a bit more patience on attack (against the Bulls last weekend) … we tried to
force it a bit and that’s something that we’ve spoken about," said Fleck.
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Boom Prinsloo, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Niel Marais
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones