Investec Stormers coach Gert Smal has not given up hope yet on a spot in the semifinals of the Super 12 competition.
Smal’s team lost three games on the overseas leg of their Super 12 campaign and is in sixth position on the log with only 8 points after five games.
The coach, however, believes everything is left to play for still. “I am still positive about our chances of making the playoffs, although a lot of people have written us off. There are still six games left and the possibility of earning 30 points is there.
“I know it is a big task, but that is what we should be aiming for. The Super 12 is far from over and a lot of things could still happen to those teams in the top half of the log.
“It is important that we create the best opportunity for us to pounce in case something goes wrong for the log leaders.”
The Stormers have a bye this weekend and will resume their campaign next Saturday when they take on the Reds from Queensland at Newlands.
They will have to do without Springbok No 8 Joe van Niekerk, who is on a rehabilitation program after sustaining a knee injury overseas. Smal said the player would be considered for the following game, against the Crusaders.
He added that some of the players are still recovering from bumps and bruises, but that Van Niekerk is the only serious concern.
“I gave Schalk Burger and De Wet Barry permission to stay away from training this week. The very physical nature of their game leaves them open to injuries and I’ve decided to give them a week away from the game.
“They needed the rest, because we are going to use them a lot in the second half of the season.”