The Stormers are rank outsiders but they have so many carrots dangling in front of them that they cannot be written off ahead of their Super 14 rugby match against the Western Force in Perth on Friday.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the Cape Town side have a bye next week, so they will be able to rest and do some laptop homework before embarking on a run of five home matches that could take them into the semi-finals.
They are certainly capable of beating the Cheetahs, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Brumbies and Waratahs at Newlands before they take on the Lions at Ellis Park in their final fixture.
There can be little doubt that they will improve their position on the log after returning from Australasia. The important question is where they will stand after the match in Perth.
But even if they do not earn a single point on Friday, they should not be written off. If they are among the top seven on the log after this weekend, they will have a chance of reaching the semi-finals.
To beat the Force, who are confident after away victories over the Blues and the Highlanders, will take some doing.
Former Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe says the lock forwards, Andries Bekker and Ross Skeate, will be key players.
With Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe in the pack, the Force have one of the best lineouts in the competition, says Van der Merwe, who was the coach when the Stormers beat an inexperienced Force team in Perth two years ago.
Important to put them under pressure
Some experts say the Force rely on the same flowing build-up in setting up phases that used to make the Brumbies so formidable. It is therefore important to put them under pressure when they have possession.
In this respect, loose forwards Schalk Burger, Luke Watson and Francois Louw have an important task against a formidable pack with good loose forwards.
No team can ask for a better flyhalf than Matt Giteau, who will have outstanding backs such as centre Ryan Cross, fullback Cameron Shepherd and wing Drew Mitchell on his outside.
The Stormers have done well on defence but this time they will be severely tested in this department.Tweet