Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Saturday 7.40pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 13 2012 – Stormers 19 bt Waratahs 13 at Newlands Rugby StadiumHead-to-head: Played 16 Waratahs 6 Stormers 9 drawn 1In Sydney: Played 6 Waratahs 3 Stormers 3Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)TV: Live, FoxSports 2TAB Sportsbet: Waratahs $1.75 Stormers $2
Steve Samuelson writes: The Waratahs last beat the Stormers in 2009 which was also the last time they met in Sydney. This match could well be decided at the lineout with the Stormers boasting one of the best in the business, Andries Becker.
AAP writes: It’s do-or-die time for both perennial finals contenders as the attack-minded Waratahs back up from their 11-try romp over the Kings against a Stormers outfit which has conceded just 11 five-pointers all season.
Israel Folau was the chief destroyer for the Tahs last outing and the Stormers will need to keep the classy fullback in check to have any hope of keeping their playoff hopes alive. Despite having Wallabies stars Berrick Barnes and Drew Mitchell back at his disposal, coach Michael Cheika has named an unchanged starting line-up to take on last year’s runners-up.
WARATAHS: Israel Folau, Cam Crawford, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Will Skelton, Mitchell Chapman, Pat McCutcheon, Matt Lucas, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell
STORMERS: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Bryan Habana, Gary Van Aswegen, Dewaldt Duvenage, Duane Vermeulen, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Andries Bekker, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Siyabonga Ntubeni, Pat Cilliers, Don Armand, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Elton Jantjies, Gerhard van den Heever