Stormers prop Pat Cilliers is confident his team are moving in the right direction despite losing their opening two games of the Super Rugby season.
The Cape outfit welcome the Chiefs to Newlands on Saturday on the back of a 12-6 defeat at the hands of the Sharks. It was the second loss on the trot for the Stormers after they came unstuck first up against the Bulls, going down 25-17.
However, while the run of defeats may appear to be a tale of woe, Cilliers believes that they are making progress.
"The effort and the passion was there but we probably lacked that final little finish, there were just too many mistakes," the 26-year-old told Planet Rugby of the loss to the Sharks.
"But the effort was there and we could have had it in the end, it could have gone either way."
This was in stark contrast to the clash with the Bulls in which Cilliers admits their performance was just not up to standard.
"The first game was just poor," he conceded. "Jean and the senior guys just said that the effort wasn't there. And when the effort and the passion isn't there then there is a problem and we rectified against the Sharks.
"But we've had a bit of a problem holding onto the ball and setting up the phases but at least we could walk off the pitch happy with our effort whereas against the Bulls we were really lacking in effort and that extra bit of energy."
Next up for the Stormers are the defending champions who have got off to a fast start, notching up in excess of 40 points in victories over the Hurricanes and the Cheetahs. But while the Chiefs provide a tough task, the match will be one to remember for Cilliers as he turns out in the blue and white of the Stormers at Newlands for the first time, the venue of his Springbok debut.
"It's the first game at Newlands as a Stormers player for myself and a few other guys and everyone is really excited and keen to get the season back on track and get to where we want to be," he said.
"It doesn't get any easy for us this week, we always knew it was going to be a going to be a tough start to the season with the Bulls away, the Sharks away and then the Chiefs at home, but we need to really need to step up and get a win under our belts."