Stormers not focused on Super Rugby log
Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck, who has seen his side struggle in 2018, is not paying any attention to the Super Rugby log.
That's probably a good thing, because if he did, he would see that the Stormers are bottom of the South African Conference with their chances of making the tournament playoffs now minimal.
It's been a tough old season for Fleck and his charges.
The Stormers have won just five of their 13 matches in 2018 and have just three remaining. Given that they have played a match more than the Jaguares, Sharks and Bulls, they simply cannot afford to lose again this season.
Mathematically, they are still in the playoff race, but there is no time left for mistakes.
The Lions await at Newlands on Saturday, and defeat will be the final nail in the coffin for the Stormers in 2018.
Fleck spoke on Monday about how his side had struggled this year, with refereeing decisions and injuries not helping his cause, but the bottom line is that they have not produced the goods when it has mattered most.
The conditions may have made life more difficult, but the Stormers were nowhere near good enough against the Sunwolves in Hong Kong last weekend, going down in an error-strewn showing that pretty much summed up their season.
Now, with the finish line in sight, Fleck has decided that it is better to focus on performance rather than log position.
"The log is irrelevant to us," he told Cape Town media on Monday.
"It's about how we get our stuff right and play the brand of rugby that we want to play. The motivation in the squad is massive.
"Obviously we're disappointed with where we are. We're still in it, but that's not going to be our driving factor. Our driving factor is that we want to play good rugby and to the best of our ability."
Fleck was trying to remain optimistic about his side's playoff chances.
"There are lots of reasons why this season hasn't gone right up until this stage, but it can still change for us. We will fight every single second in the way we train, prepare and play and who knows what can happen?" he said.
"This team is a damn good rugby team and there are some good players in the side. We know that, and we'll do whatever it takes to get up there.
"The motivation is always there, regardless of who we are playing."
The Lions, meanwhile, are top of the South African Conference and 12 points ahead of the Stormers after the same number of matches.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15.