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    Pitch problems for Stormers

    2016-06-30 11:01

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Saturday's Super Rugby clash between the Rebels and the Stormers at AAMI Park is a vitally important one for the South Africans. 

    With just three rounds of Super Rugby regular season left, this appears to be the Stormers' toughest challenge remaining in the group stages with fixtures against the Western Force and Kings to come. 

    Currently four points ahead of the Bulls, the Stormers will an all likelihood secure top spot in Africa Conference 1 and a home quarter-final should they get past the Rebels this weekend. 

    The Rebels are no pushovers - they have won six and lost six so far this season - and now the Stormers have the extra worry of the AAMI pitch breaking up. 

    The turf in Melbourne was extremely problematic in the second Test between Australia and England this month, and the Rebels threatened to move their Super Rugby matches elsewhere following that incident. 

    Emergency repairs have taken place since then, but Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has confirmed that his side will not be allowed to train on the pitch before Saturday.

    "We haven't been allowed to train on it. We're actually not allowed to train on it, which is unfortunate," Fleck said from Melbourne on Thursday.

    "They relaid the surface just after the Test match series so they're doing their best to make sure it's good and ready to go for us.

    "It's obviously a bit disruptive that we don't get to do our captain's run there tomorrow but they've given us assurances that all would be good."

    Fleck added that the Stormers would be tactically prepared for any pitch problems that arise during the game.

    "If it does break up we're going to have certain tactical things that need to be done around the scrum, but hopefully they've done a good job and we can play on a decent surface," said Fleck.

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45.

    Teams:

    Rebels

    TBA

    Stormers

    15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble

    Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 JP Smith, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Louis Schreuder, 23 Scott van Breda

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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