Waratahs coach Michael Foley is not giving up hope on the Waratahs reaching the Super Rugby play offs even though they have slipped to 11th place overall.
The Waratahs suffered their fourth straight loss and their eighth in 12 games when they lost to the Waratahs on Saturday.
The result coupled with the Rebels victory over the Force has the Waratahs below the Rebels in the standings.
The Waratahs look set to get Test winger Drew Mitchell and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau back for this weekend but their chances of reaching the play offs appear to be all but over.
Foley is refusing to look further than this week's match against the Cheetahs and is avoiding thinking about the play offs.
"For us it's about going into the next game and focusing on doing the things that we can control well and seeing what happens after that," he said.
"I think people are chasing a different answer from me and I don't have one."
Foley acknowledged that it is frustrating watching a team fall short even though they have the talent to play better than their results reflect.
"I think (it is) frustrating for everybody," he told RugbyHeaven.
"I think you come a long way to a place that very, very few teams win at … and I think we did a lot right in that game.
"I know without the result, and particularly in context of the rest of the season, people will look to scrutinise different things (and) there is no doubt that there were tiny little things in that game that we believed we could have controlled and that would have brought us the outcome.
"So we're obviously disappointed but from my own personal perspective I'm pretty proud of the boys and what they put in there (on Saturday)."
The Waratahs lost 19-13 to the Stormers who lead the Super Rugby standings after outscoring their hosts 3-10 in the second half.
"We had a bit of a plan on how we were going to try and disrupt that and we went about doing it pretty well," Foley said.
"There were a couple of little things in the first half that probably let us down but the margins are very fine there, and we went out there and we tried to chase that score down ... and ended up winning the second half 10-3, but we probably left ourselves a little too much to do after that first half."
He rejected criticism of the side's judgment around the use of contestable kicks.
"Any time we put our foot anywhere near the ball people criticise us," Foley said.
"At the end of the last game against the Bulls we were the third least kicking team in the competition."
"Last night you could have broken it down kick by kick (and) there were a few kicks that may have been the wrong options, but overall I thought the boys tried to interpret the situation well."
Foley revealed that on the injury front second rower Dean Mumm will most likely be unavailable to play against the Cheetahs after a head knock while Sitaleki Timani and Rocky Elsom will have scans on their shoulders.