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Robertson expects tough game with Stormers

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Lynn McConnell     17 May 2019     Getty Images

Coach Scott Robertson said the side had made up for not having been to Cape Town since 2013 by getting out and taking in some of the sights of the city while also balancing it with their preparation for the game.

He hasn't been able to call on loosehead prop Joe Moody who has returned home after suffering a bad knee gash in last weekend's win over the Bulls.

That has seen George Bower named on the loosehead side of the scrum. The other changes include the return of captain Sam Whitelock at lock and the choice of Ethan Blackadder on the blindside of the scrum ahead of Jordan Taufua.

Blackadder's selection was down to the depth in the squad and the quality of players, he said.

"We'd like to play Ethan every other week, every time he has played for us he has been exceptional," he said.

While Taufua also did outstanding work for the side in getting drive going and in making tackles, Blackadder had trained hard and deserved a chance.

But while the Stormers may be last in the South African Conference they are still a chance of making the playoffs and Robertson is wary of their ability.
"They've got a Springbok forward pack, exceptional players in the backline and they can cut you apart," he said.

They would be fresh having come off the bye and like every other team that played the Crusaders they looked at it as an opportunity.

"It's important we play at tempo and create opportunities around that," he said.

They also showed that when their experienced players wanted to turn on a good performance they had managed that.

"They can cut you open, they've got it all there and when the stadium's full they've got a bit of energy and they're playing the Crusaders. You have got to expect they will be the best that they can be and you always have to understand that starts with a great defensive effort and you can understand why they are talking that way.

"That's what's required in those big games," he said.