'Key individuals' letting Stormers down
SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Stormers coach Robbie Fleck pointed the finger at 'key individuals', after his team dropped to the bottom of the South African conference.
He admitted that - after losing 17-24 to the Sharks at weekend - winning the conference is no longer a reality.
However, he is clinging on to the hope of a top eight finish and a place in the play-offs.
Despite the costly, critical errors, Fleck is adamant that if they cut out the errors they can still be a force in the competition.
The Lions, the tournament pace-setters, are on 30 points after nine games.
They are closely followed by the Crusaders (29 points from eight games), with the Australian conference leaders, the Waratahs, with 24 points from eight games.
Three New Zealand teams - Hurricanes (27 from seven games), Chiefs (26 from eight) and Highlanders (24 from seven) are also well-placed.
The next best South African teams are the Bulls (eighth, with 19 from eight) and Sharks (ninth, 18 from nine).
The Stormers, last in the SA conference, are trailing in 12th place, with 14 from nine matches.
Fleck said that when his team was leading 7-3 at half-time against the Sharks in Durban at the weekend, the Stormers were confident they could pull it off.
"However, an error from the restart presented the Sharks with an opportunity and they scored," the coach said.
"[We] got back into the lead and then more 'soft moments' followed."
He felt it was a better performance than two weeks ago, when they lost to the Lions in Johannesburg.
"However, some soft moments from certain individuals are letting us down.
"It is the error rate from key players that is hurting us. That has been the case for us all season."
He said they will have to regroup this week, ahead of Friday's encounter with the Rebels at Newlands.
"We have to qualify, get into the top eight, and we have seven games to do it in.
"Five of those are at home.
"We are not going to roll over."