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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Stormers still credible URC contenders, says captain Fouche

"We still see ourselves as a championship team ... we just need to put one or two things into place and get a bit of confidence."

The Stormers will be keen on ending their four-game losing streak in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday when they tackle Italian side Zebre in Stellenbosch.

Form is not on the side of the Stormers at the moment as they lost all four of their overseas tour matches, falling to defeat against the Glasgow Warriors, Benetton, Munster and Cardiff.

The manner in which the Stormers lost their games was disappointing; they did not look like the well-oiled machine that played in back-to-back URC Grand Finals.

Championship team

Despite their early season mishaps on tour, Stormers captain Neethling Fouche has insisted they are still a championship team.

“It’s funny because sometimes it’s just a few parts that you need for the whole system to kick in,” said Fouche when speaking to the media on Friday.

“We’re not making any excuses, losing four out of four is not good enough for the level we as the Stormers set out for ourselves.

“There were positives that came out of it; I thought our defence stood up well even though we weren’t employing our game perfectly.

“It’s not a situation of us panicking, we know we are quite close; we haven’t put it together yet. We still see ourselves as a championship team, and we need to put one or two things into place and get a bit of confidence,” he said.

Return of Boks

The missing pieces to the Stormers’ puzzle on tour were perhaps their four Springboks. On Saturday at the Danie Craven Stadium (7.15 pm), they will have flanker Deon Fourie return alongside flyhalf Manie Libbok, and Damian Willemse, who will start at inside centre.

This shows the Stormers’ intention of returning to winning ways.

Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman says it’s important for the team to work hard for the full five points on offer against Zebre.

“The five points aren’t just going to come on a plate; we have to work for it.

“We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we know what we need to do in the game to put pressure on Zebre and get our opportunities,” Snyman said.

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