In a repeat of last year’s Super Rugby quarterfinal at the same venue, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck’s men believe they are ready for the challenge and have dubbed the match a true “test” of their ability to play against New Zealand opposition.
Both teams are unbeaten heading into the encounter, and with the Stormers having changed their style of play to a more expansive approach this year, Fleck knows they will be up against it when they face Dave Rennie’s side.
With no fewer than nine All Blacks in their starting XV, including the experienced Liam Messam, Stormers skipper Siya Kolisi and his team know they the odds are against them.
Of the duel against Messam, Kolisi says: “It’s going to be a good test for us as loosies.
“His [Messam’s] experience and has been with the All Blacks for a while, so we just have to outwork them – they work all the time, that’s what they do best.”
Among the backs, the Stormers are also outnumbered in terms of international stars.
With not a single Springbok in the Cape side’s backline and with an inexperienced midfield, Fleck says: “There’s no better place to face a couple of All Blacks in the midfield and playing at Newlands in front of your home crowd, there’s no bigger test for those youngsters.”
He adds: “We need to test ourselves against the best to see how far we’ve come. We’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks.
“It’s going to be a really good test in all aspects this is the true test for us.”