Jon Cardinelli

De Allende to fracture Force

Damian de Allende scores against the Highlanders Damian de Allende scores against the Highlanders

Damian de Allende may be the man to penetrate the formidable defence of the Force at Newlands, writes JON CARDINELLI.

While the Stormers have only decided to play a more attacking brand in the past few weeks, De Allende has been an offensive threat throughout the competition. Whether he's featured at centre or wing, his physicality and agility has allowed the Cape side to breach the gainline regularly.

The Stormers will need De Allende to be on point when they host the Force this Saturday. The visitors are one of the best defensive sides in the tournament, a statement that is backed up by the stats.

They've conceded just 18 tries (the second fewest in the competition) and 213 points (the third fewest). It's little wonder that they are in the running for a place in the play-offs as well as the Australian conference title.

For this encounter, the Stormers have opted for Peter Grant and De Allende as their 10-12 combination. These selections should bolster the Stormers midfield defence, which has been poor in recent rounds.

But much will depend on the forward battle. Men like De Allende will pose a greater threat if the Stormers forwards manage to outmuscle their counterparts.

If the Force win the contest at the collisions and breakdowns, then it could be the likes of Wallabies winger Nick Cummins who makes inroads into the opposition defence and scores crucial points.

Overall: Stormers 4, Force 2
In Cape Town: Stormers 2, Force 1

4 – The number of tries he's scored in 2014 (Rank 16)
22 – The number of defenders he's beaten in 2014 (Rank 14)
501 – The number of metres he's made in 2014 (Rank 19)
Source: Vodacom Stats App

Stormers  – 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Brok Harris.
Subs: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Martin Dreyer,  19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Michael van der Spuy.

Force – 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Patrick Dellit.

Mark Keohane's betting tips

SA Rugby mag's Superbru predictions

VIDEO: Ryan Vrede's predictions for matches involving SA sides

Super Rugby teams (Round 14)

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

WP director of rugby Gert Smal

Stormers back to square one

While Eddie Jones had good reason to accept the England head coach post, his premature departure has left the unlucky Stormers in a fix, writes JON CARDINELLI.

The Kings celebrate scoring in the Currie Cup

Prioritise Kings’ well-being

The Kings​' inability to be competitive in next year's Vodacom Super Rugby​ would cause irreparable damage to rugby in the Eastern Cape and to the brand of the South African game, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

Jonah Lomu bulldozes Mike Catt in the 1995 World Cup semi-final

Lomu’s indelible mark

Jonah Lomu may be gone but his unique contribution to the game will never be forgotten, writes JON CARDINELLI.

You may also like
Get our daily email update. Subscribe to the SA Rugby magazine newsletter: