Stormers hoping to upset Crusaders home record

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck

The Stormers will look to break the Crusaders’ home record against foreign opposition when the two sides clash in a Super Rugby match at Christchurch in New Zealand on Saturday.

The Crusaders last lost a home fixture against a non-New Zealand team in 2004, when they were beaten by Australia’s Waratahs.

The last South African team to achieve that feat was the Cats, who won 32-21 in 2001.

Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck said even though they went into the match as underdogs, they would relish the challenge.

“It’s a massive challenge for us; as a Stormers team and a South African team, we’ve had some close battles with the Crusaders, whether it’s been here or back in Cape Town,” Fleck said on Friday.

“They’re going to be up for it, after two losses, and the people here expect nothing but the best from their team, like our fans back home.

“It’s going to be a tough battle up front, between two quality teams, but our boys are ready.”

Due to bad weather conditions, the Stormers could only train on Thursday when it cleared up.

It was also the only chance for Samoan winger Sailosi Tagicakibau and returning flyhalf Peter Grant to adjust to the team’s training routines.

“Bash (Peter Grant) flew in just a bit earlier this week, and Losi (Tagicakibau) has been with the guys for a few days already,” said Fleck.

“It’s been a different week for everyone. We’ve never quite experienced this kind of weather before in New Zealand and the guys had to spend the first few days indoors.

“Since the storm has finished it’s been proper summer here, so we trained yesterday (Thursday) in beautiful conditions and we were able to get through everything that we had to.”

The Crusaders have lost their first two games in the Super Rugby campaign after defeats to the Chiefs at home and the Blues last week.

The Stormers scraped home against the Hurricanes in Cape Town last week, and suffered a heavy defeat in Johannesburg against the Lions a week earlier.

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