Stormers calm in a huge storm
The Stormers are optimistic despite struggling in the bottom half of the Super Rugby standings due to a three-match losing streak and being ravaged by injuries.
Defeats against the Hurricanes (34-28), the Blues (24-9) and the Reds (24-12) on their current Australasian tour, were games the Stormers could have won if they had taken the numerous chances they created.
They haven't won in New Zealand since 2013, and have now lost their last 13 games on Kiwi soil, while they have lost their last 11 outside of SA.
To add to the Stormers' mounting problems, they have lost several key players on this tour and will field a young side against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
Captain Siya Kolisi, wing SP Marais and experienced lock Chris van Zyl were the latest trio to depart the tour after the Reds match
Van Zyl and Marais are injured while Kolisi is automatically excused due to Springbok resting protocol.
The team has already waved goodbye to Eben Etzebeth, JD Schickerling, Dan du Plessis and Pieter-Steph du Toit so far due to injury.
But assistant coach Paul Feeney gave an upbeat media briefing from Australia yesterday, raving about the Stormers' ability to create chances, but underplaying their inability to finish them.
"The players haven't lost confidence," Feeney said.
"If you build a lead then the opposition start playing differently as they start chasing the game. In that first 15 or 20 minutes [in Brisbane] we could have been up by 14 points and that changes the way the Reds decide to play.
"There are always big game changers in matches. Sometimes a team just needs a little bit of luck and confidence grows from that. We are looking to finish strongly. There is no reason we can't beat the Rebels on Friday," he said.
"After eight games, if we have won four, and played six away from home, and we have six games at home coming up out of the last eight, we are well in the hunt [for the quarterfinals]. Especially when you look at the SA conference at the moment. Everyone is knocking over everyone."
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