And it isn’t necessarily caused by the daunting trip to Loftus with a team rocked by a spate of Super Rugby injuries.
Injured Stormers captain Jean de Villiers, right, one of at least five frontline players to miss the Bulls clash, said that while they may be out of the play-off race, there is still a burning desire to move away from the dreaded bottom of the log.
“There is a lot of pride in this team.
“But believe me, there is also fear, for we have fear of finishing last on the log,” said De Villiers.
“That is not something any one of us wants to experience, and we will fight tooth and nail to win every game so that we can climb up the log.”
If there’s one game a Bulls or Stormers player needs no extra motivation for, it is a challenge from the old rival.
“Loftus Versfeld is never an easy place to play and we haven’t won away from home once this season, so it’s a big challenge as one would expect.”
But despite the injuries, there is still an ocean of quality depth available in the squad and the confidence engendered by beating the Highlanders 29-28 at Newlands last weekend for only the third success of the competition, augers well for the weekend.
The Stormers also looked full of confidence as they applied a fast, running approach last weekend which saw them scoring three excellent first-half tries.
“Hopefully we can continue in this vein and keep getting better at what we do,” De Villiers said.
“But maybe in a way we shouldn’t be as much results-driven and rather just be sure we want to stick to the plan.”