Stormers must play out of their skin

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iol spt mar13 Schalk Getty Images The Chiefs pose a severe threat to the Stormers, says Schalk Burger ahead of the Super Rugby encounter at Waikato Stadium. Photo by Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

Johannesburg – The Chiefs pose a severe threat to the Stormers, says Schalk Burger ahead of the Super Rugby encounter at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, on Friday.

“They've got all the bases covered and we'll have to play out of our skins this weekend. I think the boys know that,” said the Stormers flank.

It is going to take a special effort from the tourists to replicate their performance against the back-to-back Super Rugby champions (2012, 2013) in their second tour match.

The Chiefs have hardly looked like champions despite winning their opening two matches.

While they have been most impressive at scrum time, they have not been as imposing in the line-outs and have strengthened their side for Friday's game making six changes.

They have also taken the liberty of benching a couple of their first-choice players like All Black midfielder Robbie Fruean, who has played splendidly in both matches to date. The Chiefs had a bye last week and should run out as a fresh unit on Friday.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said his side would trade heavily on commitment and belief.

“There are a couple of sore bodies in the team, but the belief is there and the excitement is there,” Coetzee said on Thursday.

“We're under no illusions that it will be tough against the Chiefs in Hamilton, but if you want to play at the highest level this is what you have to face.

“We know we have to pitch up physically in order to come out on top, but even more so for Jean De Villiers as we would love to make it special for him on this great occasion.

“He is a true warrior and a real Western Province rugby man and we're hoping to make this 100th game special for him. It is something he deserves.”

The Stormers will also be buoyed by the fact that they have won two of their last three matches in Hamilton.

Stormers tighthead Frans Malherbe will undergo a fitness test on Thursday, and if he does not make the grade, Boland prop Martin Dreyer will replace him on the substitutes bench. – Sapa



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