The Stormers have the chance of a history-making start to the Super Rugby season when they play fellow South African side the Lions in the tournament's third round.

The Stormers matched their own record, achieved once in the 25-year history of Super Rugby, of maintaining a clean sheet in consecutive matches when they beat the Hurricanes 27-0 in round one and the Bulls 13-0 in round two.

They first achieved the feat in 2014, beating the Cheetahs 33-0 and Bulls 16-0, and now have the chance to become the first team in the tournament's history to hold opponents scoreless in three straight games.

On both occasions their back-to-back clean sheets were achieved on their home ground of Newlands and if they are to better their record they will have to do so on the road. They travel to Johannesburg on Sunday to face the Lions who are 1-1 after losing heavily to the Jaguares before beating the Reds.


The Lions have never been held scoreless at home in a Super Rugby match.

Lions assistant coach Julian Redelinghuys said his team relished the challenge posed by the Stormers' impenetrable defence.

"They've done well to keep zero on the scoreboard for two games," Redelinghuys said. "You hear it a lot from us but we keep to the processes and if the points come, they come. Keep on knocking on the door for the next opportunity."

The Stormers say they will target a vulnerable Lions scrum, working again for the set piece control they achieved against the Hurricanes and Bulls. They suffered a setback in that area this week when Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi underwent surgery for a damaged hamstring and will likely miss the rest of the season.

The Stormers lead the Africa conference by a point from the Durban-based Sharks who are also 2-0 and beat the Highlanders in New Zealand last weekend. The Lions and Argentina's Jaguares have 1-1 records and the Bulls, who have a bye this round, are winless after two games.

The Stormers have been one of the best things about the Super Rugby season so far. But it is a season õnce again haunted by report that South Africa may be about to quit both Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship to play in the Six Nations and British premier club tournaments.

South Africa's withdrawal would damage the Rugby Championship and would likely spell the end of Super Rugby.