Cape Town - If Robbie Fleck's analysis of the Brumbies is anything to go by, then the Stormers will be underdogs in Saturday's Super Rugby clash at Newlands.
After announcing his team on Thursday, Fleck referred to the Brumbies as the "best side in the competition".
The Brumbies are one of only two undefeated sides left after three rounds of Super Rugby - the other being the Sharks.
As is always the case, the Brumbies' ground-work at the breakdown is considered a major threat with David Pocock and Scott Fardy once again named in the loose trio.
But Fleck is not lying down, and one thing that was clear on Thursday is that the Stormers go into this match ready to implement some very specific plans.
"We’ve had to look hard at our own breakdown, both
defensively and attacking, and we’ve got one or two things that we’d like to
try out," Fleck said.
"If you just go through the normal procedures you allow the Brumbies to
dictate the game. We’re taking a fearless approach … we have to."
That is fighting talk, and the Stormers will need to show some fight if they are to reverse the result of last season's 39-19 quarter-final loss to the Australians in Cape Town.
"For me, they’re the best side in the competition. They are
actually streets ahead at the moment … they’re a well-oiled machine.
got a very astute coach in Stephen Larkham and he’s done a fantastic job since
"Every year they keep improving."
But Fleck says the Stormers have learnt a valuable lesson from watching the Brumbies' first three matches this season.
"I felt that the first three games
of the competition nobody tried anything different against them … and that’s
where we are going to try and be a little bit different," said Fleck.
"We certainly have to
challenge them in the areas that they’re good at … otherwise it will be an easy
day for them."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:15.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Leolin Zas
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Nigel Ah Wong