Rassie Erasmus believes the Stormers can still make the play-offs despite a devastating 14-10 loss to the Bulls.
The Stormers have now lost three from four – two of those defeats at home – and have one match remaining before they head to Australasia for a difficult five-match tour. They’ll have to all but win every match to stand a chance of semi-final qualification, but Erasmus believes his charges are capable of achieving the improbable.
“The way we look at it, we have nine matches left and we can win those nine games,” he said. “The teams we’ve lost to are the same teams we lost to last year. If you consider we are only one point below the Crusaders on the log, a team that are always in contention for the semi-finals, then we are still in with a chance.”
The Stormers kicked away a lot of possession in the first half at Loftus, and flyhalf Willem de Waal was subbed shortly after half-time. Erasmus said this was always the plan.
“I’ve come here a lot of times and any team that has come to Loftus to play rugby in the first 15 minutes has lost. You saw what the guys looked like in the last 10 minutes and they’d only played rugby for 30 minutes.”
The good news for the Stormers is that this intensely physical battle has not resulted in any serious injuries. The Stormers will host the Lions next Saturday in what is a vital clash ahead of their overseas tour.