Regardless of what happens this weekend, the Stormers will not end this round of Super 14 fixtures in the top four.
The two Australian teams challenging for a place in the semi-final bracket, the Force and Waratahs, play each other on Saturday, and even if it is a draw, that will be enough to keep the Cape team out, writes Gavin Rich for News24.
But with many of the teams ahead of the Stormers due to face one another in the next couple of weeks, there are going to be casualties among the group of challengers, while some of the teams have also played more games than the Stormers have.
This means that the Stormers, now five points adrift of the top four, which translates into a bonus point victory, just need to keep winning and the rest will take care of itself.
Winning though could be the hard part, for although the Stormers hit winning form on their overseas tour, they do sometimes struggle with the extra pressure they appear to feel when they play at home.
And the Cheetahs are going to be doing everything they can to halt the Stormers’ march up the table when they two sides clash in an appetising South African derby at Newlands on Saturday.
It is the start of a five match home sequence for the Stormers, and victory will create a good platform ahead of clashes with the Hurricanes and the Waratahs, two teams also in contention for semi-final places.
If the Stormers can win the next three matches, then there job will be half done. However, the Cheetahs have an old score to settle with former coach Rassie Erasmus for leaving them to join the Stormers, and Erasmus knows better than anyone that the Cheetahs don’t fear Newlands as a venue.
They also have Juan Smith back, and will have been boosted by their impressive first win of the season last week against the Reds.
Of course, the Stormers’ chances, although destiny is in their hands, do not revolve just around themselves. The Bulls can do them a massive favour if they knock over the Hurricanes in the late game on Saturday, something that at Loftus they should be well equipped to do.Tweet