Willemse on Stormers' woes: 'We need to look at this situation logically'
REACTION: Springbok star Damian Willemse says his Stormers teammates should not be too hard on themselves after their recent United Rugby Championship tour.
The Stormers returned home after four losses in a row, which has seen them slip to 12th in the standings after six rounds.
Willemse is one of several World Cup winners set to return to action for the Stormers against Zebre in Stellenbosch this weekend.
He has been watching his team’s campaign this season with interest and is keen to start contributing to the cause again.
“We started really well against the Scarlets here at home, and we were a bit unlucky in all of our games on tour,” he said.
“But all teams go through phases like this, challenging times.
“The important thing for us is to get aligned as a team and make sure we work hard. It is something we’ve done before in the URC – winning those critical home games.
“We need to look at this situation logically and not be too hard on ourselves, and everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel as a squad.”
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The Stormers are overwhelming favourites for the clash against Zebre, but Willemse knows it will be foolish to underestimate their opponents.
“Everyone is really excited to be back at home and playing at Danie Craven Stadium, it is always lovely to go and play there,” Willemse explained.
“We want to put our best foot forward and build some momentum going into the other clashes that we have in the December schedule.
“We’ve all seen Zebre’s performances and how they’ve developed their game.
“They’ve got great players and a great coaching staff.
“When we went to Parma last year it was a challenging game and they’re going to come down here and try to cause an upset.
“We’ve come from a disappointing tour so we need to make sure we study them and focus on our game.
“We expect Zebre to come out with a bang and it’s going to be a great game.”
After a three-week rest after the World Cup, Willemse says he’s hungrier than ever to get back to active duty for the Stormers.
“Not just for me but for a lot of the guys, the break was definitely something that we all needed, especially after those tough knockout games,” Willemse said.
“But I’m excited to get back to domestic duty and play for the Stormers.
“We’ve got some big games coming up, in the Champions Cup as well as the URC.
“It’s going to be an epic summer, especially going over to Europe to play there. So, I’m keen to get back in the Stormers jersey and do something special again with the team.”