DYNAMIC: Pieter-Steph du Toit takes on the Bulls defence at Newlands on Saturday. Picture: THINUS MARITZ/GALLO IMAGES
DYNAMIC: Pieter-Steph du Toit takes on the Bulls defence at Newlands on Saturday. Picture: THINUS MARITZ/GALLO IMAGES

Stormers flank Pieter-Steph du Toit says the team has not given up on their season despite slumping to a fifth loss in nine games when they went down 19-17 to the Brumbies at Newlands last Saturday.

The defeat has left the Stormers at the bottom of the SA conference‚ although only four points separate first to last.

The Bulls top the standings on 23 points and are the Stormers’ next opponents at Newlands this weekend. A Stormers win and other results going their way‚ could see them top the conference. At least that is the theory.

In reality, the Stormers will have to play significantly better‚ especially when it comes to their attack‚ to have any chance of stopping the improving Bulls.

The Pretoria side thrashed the Stormers 40-3 in week one of the compeition at Loftus‚ and despite winning four games subsequently‚ the Stormers have never fully recovered from that setback.

But Du Toit believes they owe a good performance‚ not only to themselves‚ but to the fans as well.

“What happened in the first round is in the back of our minds‚” Du Toit said. “We are sore about the loss last weekend too. It should be like that. Yes‚ we do have some tough games coming up and it is a big challenge for the team. To measure yourselves against the top teams‚ you have to play against the top teams and beat them. Mentally this team is still in a good place.

“We will give everything to win on Saturday because the fans who pay good money to come watch us‚ deserve our best. We have a responsibility to give them a good performance. Their support means a lot to us because it’s a privilege.”

Du Toit recently became a father for the first time to a son named Pieter‚ and he believes it will help his rugby‚ not hinder it.

“Personally I’m feeling quite good at the moment after having a little break‚” he said. “Being a father gives you a reality check. Rugby is our profession but now I have another motivation to play well.

“We have two tough games [the Jaguares away] coming up before the bye‚ but we have to just focus on ourselves and play like we know we can. It’s tough to pinpoint why we weren’t finishing our chances last week. We just kept making mistakes. We won everything but the game.”

Both locks Eben Etzebeth and JD Schickerling were back at training on Tuesday and will be considered for this weekend’s clash.