Canes to face fired up Stormers

Last updated 08:30 26/02/2014

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The Hurricanes will face a Stormers side fuelled by anger as both teams look to get their Super Rugby campaigns back on track in Cape Town on Saturday.

Having sat out the opening week in South Africa, the highly touted Stormers were thumped 34-10 by newcomers the Lions at Ellis Park last weekend.

It was an embarrassing performance by the Stormers who will now look to right their wrongs against a Canes side coming off a 27-9 hiding by the Sharks, easily the form team of the opening phase of the 2014 competition.

"I heard several guys say after the game that it was their own personal worst individual performance in a long time. So that is encouraging as it should mean they all come out in a very angry mood and determined to put it right against the Hurricanes," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said as announced his team.

Coetzee has made just one personnel change, bringing in Jaco Taute at fullback though it means a shuffle for other players in the backline.

Gio Aplon has shifted across to the wing, while Damian de Allende moves from the wing to partner skipper Jean de Villiers in the midfield.

"It has only been one game and I am giving some players a second chance to convince me. If it happens a second time I will need to act. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. I am confident that the players have now had their wake-up call," Coetzee said.

 "I've learnt from this competition that you take nothing for granted, it is never easy. You have to take your opportunities,.

"The Hurricanes have four All Blacks in the backline, that is where their strength is.

"We have to make sure we come up with a good performance. The Hurricanes, over the years, have never been scared to run the ball.

"That is their strength - as well as creating opportunities, with their ability to off-load - and will make it challenging for our defence."

Coetzee has asked his players to take inspiration from the way the Proteas cricket tema turned their form around to win the second test against Australia after being thumped in the first test. Similarly, he says Wales' ability to rebound in the Six Nations was another example of how improvements could be made quickly.

"We have hopefully learned our lessons and there will be no excuses this week. We hammered the nail in very low against the Lions and we have to improve by between 40 to 50% in all departments," said Coetzee.

"We were embarrassed by our performance against the Lions, and the dressing room was a really morbid place afterwards. But we need to turn it around and we need to respond to that performance by playing like a team that is angry at itself. We are using the Proteas as an example of what needs to be done.

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"I discussed the Proteas' turn-around against Australia with the team at the meeting this morning. I also spoke to them about the turn-around that the Welsh have affected in a short period in the Six Nations. They were hammered by Ireland a few weeks ago, but came back with a compelling victory over France in their next match. That is what we need to do. There is no other way."

Stormers: Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Gio Aplon, Demetri Catrakilis, Louis Schreuder, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi, Manuel Carizza, Rynhardt Elstadt, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Deon Fourie, Oliver Kebble, Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes, Nizaam Carr, Nic Groom, Kurt Coleman, Ryno Eksteen.

- The Dominion Post

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