Under pressure heading into their away clash against the Sunwolves this weekend, the heat is on in the Stormers camp.
And host coach Jamie Joseph has just turned up the temperature even more ahead of their showdown in Hong Kong.
With the weather gurus in Hong Kong predicting a high of 31 degrees Celsius on Saturday, the New Zealand coach believes the Stormers’ heavies will struggle in the heat.
With Pieter-Steph du Toit in vuurwarme form heading into the match, Joseph wants his team to make the Stormers moeg early in the encounter and then cash in towards the end.
After beating the Reds in Tokyo 63-28 last weekend, Joseph said: “I can’t wait [for the Stormers clash].
“It was hot today and will be hotter in Hong Kong and the big men from South Africa will struggle in the heat.”
A must-win match for the Stormers if they still want to stand a chance of winning the South African Conference and qualify for the tournament playoffs, coach Robbie Fleck’s side has not yet won a match away from Newlands this year.
And while Fleck will name his team for the match today, there is no doubt that the Stormers will look to pick a strong bench for this particular encounter.
After a poor scrum performance in their 19-5 defeat to the Chiefs at Newlands last weekend, Steven Kitshoff and the rest of the Stormers pack will be hungry to improve at this particular set piece.
How Fleck uses his bench will once again be under the microscope.
A lot of eyebrows were raised last weekend when he swapped his front row in dribs and drabs.
If Joseph’s plan works, it would be wise of Fleck to bring on JC Janse van Rensburg, Scarra Ntubeni and Frans Malherbe in one go to replace Kitshoff, Ramone Samuels and Wilco Louw.
With flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis also set for his first start in the sweltering heat, there is also the option of moving Dillyn Leyds to pivot later in the second half to freshen things up.
Having drawn against the Sunwolves away two seasons ago, Fleck will know that they can’t take this game too lightly and therefore will have to give attention to the “threats” by Joseph.