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DHL Stormers

DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers side has suffered some injuries whilst on tour, with Scarra Ntubeni and Patrick Cilliers sent back to South Africa.

As a result, the Stormers are looking for suitable replacements to join them on tour.

In addition they have tried to obtain the services of Griquas hooker on loan, Martin Bezuidenhot, which have apparently been unuccessful.

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CrusadersCrusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has made 7 changes to the team that lost to the Blues in Auckland for this week’s Super Rugby match against the Stormers in Christchurch.

Wyatt Crockett will start at No 1 this week and Tim Perry moves to the bench. Luke Romano takes one of the starting lock positions alongside Sam Whitelock.

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StormersCoach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting line-up for the DHL Stormers’ first match of their 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tour.

The DHL Stormers will take on the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA Time, 19:35 NZ Time) without injured forwards, lock Rynhardt Elstadt and flanker Siya Kolisi, with the fit-again De Kock Steenkamp and Schalk Burger replacing them up front.

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StormersBad weather denied the DHL Stormers an opportunity to shake off jet lag on Tuesday when their training session in Christchurch, New Zealand, was halted after only 20 minutes.

The latest acquisitions to the Stormers’ Australasia tour squad, Samoan wing Sailosi Tagicakibau and flyhalf Peter Grant, were meant to be integrated into the team’s playing structures ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders.

But Stormers’ captain Jean de Villiers said on Tuesday that conditions were so bad that training was called off.

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Super RugbyCell C SharksThe Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers both scored their first wins of the season, but this past weekend of Super Rugby action should have confirmed the growing concern among neutrals that the story of the South African conference this year will be that there is the Sharks and then there’s rubbish.

The Sharks, who would hardly have been quaking in their boots as they watched the games featuring South African teams on television during their bye weekend, admittedly weren’t all that flush in their last performance, when they beat the Hurricanes.

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StormersIt has been described as the “tour from hell” and also as “Mission Impossible”, but the toughness of the four-match trip that the DHL Stormers embarked upon with their departure from Cape Town on Sunday could just work for them.

The 19-18 win over the Hurricanes at Newlands this past Friday wasn’t enough to turn around the negativity that swamped Cape rugby after the shock defeat to the Lions in the opening game the week before, and which has arguably been around since the Currie Cup final last October.

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Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers returned to winning ways on a weekend of Vodacom Super Rugby where 6 from 7 home teams were victorious.

Ironically both the teams from Pretoria and Cape Town were outscored by 2 tries to 1 in their respective matches against the Lions and the Hurricanes, but won mainly because of pin-point goal-kicking accuracy.

On Friday evening the DHL Stormers snuck through by 19 / 18 against the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands, while the Vodacom Bulls beat the Lions by 25 / 17 in the first Gauteng-derby at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

It wasn’t a happy weekend for the Toyota Cheetahs though, as they lost their first tour match of the season by 35 / 14 to the Rebels in Melbourne.

The Cell C Sharks had a bye.

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StormersDHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has announced a 27-man squad for his team’s four-match Super Rugby tour of Australasia.

Centre Jean de Villiers will lead the squad abroad, a group that includes new Samoan star Sailosi Tagicakibau and the Japan-based Peter Grant, but excludes Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza.

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StormersPeter GrantExperienced flyhalf Peter Grant will hook up with the Stormers again in either the first or second week of their Super Rugby overseas leg … straight from his completed commitments in Japan.

This was confirmed by coach Allister Coetzee, who will relish adding “Bash’s” street wisdom to the tour mix as he is low on truly hardened, assertive characters and decision-makers in both the key slots of No 10 and scrumhalf this season.

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StormersJean de VilliersFollowing their horror start to the season at Ellis Park last week, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is expecting a major response from his side at Newlands on Friday.

De Villiers was furious with the way his charges capitulated against the Lions last week, and he admitted that their were some harsh words said behind closed doors when they reflected on what went wrong against the Lions.

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