Damian Willemse Stormers

Damian Willemse was a shock inclusion in the Stormers side for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship (URC) semi-final against Ulster. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Springbok star feels Stormers have no need to panic

Damian Willemse says that the Stormers have debriefed after a difficult tour and are ready to rumble against Zebre in Stellies this weekend.

Damian Willemse Stormers

Damian Willemse was a shock inclusion in the Stormers side for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship (URC) semi-final against Ulster. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Springbok star Damian Willemse believes that the Stormers woes on the road in the URC fall into the ‘just one of those things’ category.

But for a few key moments going against them and some perplexing decision-making the Stormers might be in a much stronger position.

No need to panic for Stormers

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However, the Stormers were never overwhelmed on the road and now prepare for a tricky December competing on multiple fronts.

Willemse feels that the Stormers have work to do to unpick what has gone wrong and set themselves back on the path to success.

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“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.

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“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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Back at home

The Stormers are back at home and turning out in Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium and are expecting a good crowd when they face Zebre.

“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.”