The South African Conference leaders, the Cell C Sharks will have yet another tough derby this weekend when they travel to Cape Town to face the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
The two teams have played each other 22 times since the competition started in 1996 (with the only exception in 1998 when Western Province did not compete), with both winning 11 games each.
The Stormers won their 1st game in 1999, when they beat The Sharks 35 – 19 at Newlands. Their longest winning streak was 4 games from 2002 to 2005. They are also the only team to have won both games in a single year, when they beat The Sharks 16 – 6 and 32 – 12 in 2011. Their biggest win was in 2003 when they won 40 – 18.
The Sharks have enjoyed the upperhand since the competition started, winning the 1st two games, the 1st 28 – 22 and the second 32 – 17. The Sharks’ longest winning streak was 5 games from 2006 to 2010. The Sharks’ biggest win was in 2007 when they won 36 – 10.
The Sharks lost the 1st game of the 2014 season, which was played in Durban, 19 – 21.
The Stormers have scored fewer points per game (18.7) than any other side, while the Sharks have averaged the fewest conceded (18.9).
The Stormers have the lowest lineout success rate (77%) in Super Rugby, compared to 88% of The Sharks. The Sharks’ Stephan Lewis is the go to man, not only on their own throw but he also tops the list as the player with the most steals, 9. Michael Rhodes and Duane Vermeulen are at 8 and 9 respectively with 7 each.
The Stormers are slightly more successful at scrum time, with 88% compared to the 84% of The Sharks. Both teams have a high penalty count at scrum time with The Sharks being penalised 35 times and The Stormers 36 times.
The Sharks need to watch their discipline when it comes to being offsides, as their penalty count is double than The Stormers on 32. A problem area for The Stormers is, not releasing the ball quick enough after being tackled, resulting in being penalised 31 times, which is also the highest of any other team in the competition.
The Sharks’ try tally (26) is the second lowest in the competition, with only the Lions scoring fewer tries (23). The Sharks have also conceded the least amount of tries (21), followed by the Waratahs (24) and then the Stormers (26).
The Sharks tend to score their tries in the last quarter of the game, which is also the period where they concede most of their tries. The Stormers tend to score during the first two quarters of the game, followed by the last quarter.
Both teams are most dangerous inside their opponents half, especially their 22, and have conceded equal amount of tries inside their own 22.
The workhorses for The Sharks have been Francios Steyn and Lwazi Mvovo starting all of their 15 games this season, followed by Jannie du Plesis, Tendai Mtawarira and Willem Alberts with 14 starts each.
Duane Vermeulen has started in all 15 games for The Stormers, with Damian de Allende starting in 14.Tweet