CAPE TOWN, May 23 (Reuters) - The Stormers are hoping their fortunes will turn this Saturday as they head into the final four Super Rugby regular season fixtures seeking to grab a playoff place, said coach Robbie Fleck.
Home victory over the Otago Highlanders is essential at Newlands on Saturday, with Fleck saying it was about time that the bottom-placed Cape Town side had something to show for their efforts.
“No one has outplayed us this year apart from the first performance against the Bulls and that’s fact,” he said.
“We’ve been in it, in every single game, but we’ve really not had the rub of the green in some games.”
Fleck said this was highlighted by the opportunity they had to beat top-of-the-table Canterbury Crusaders at Newlands last Saturday after being 19-10 down early in the second half.
There was a try-scoring chance near the end for fullback Damian Willemse.
“If the ball had sat up perfectly for Damian, then we score the try and win the game but it didn’t happen.”
This season, the Stormers have a record of five wins, six losses and one draw.
“We’ve had several games this year - versus the Reds, Brumbies - where we’ve crossed the line but had tries disallowed,” Fleck said.
“We cannot look back, to be honest, but must look forward. We know we can play against the best and perform against the best.
“It’s in our hands. We are only six points adrift of the top (of the South African conference), we’ve got three games at home and one away, and if we give the effort and attitude and intensity we have shown then I think we’ve got a good chance of qualifying,” he added.
They make only one change from the team that drew with the Crusaders as hooker Bongi Mbonambi has not recovered from a quad strain and is replaced by Scarra Ntubeni for Saturday’s clash with the Highlanders. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)