Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Stormers’ Ruben van Heerden: ‘Our backs are against the wall’

The rising lock star says the best way to get over the shock loss against Ospreys is to beat Leinster this weekend.

Rising lock star of the Stormers Ruben van Heerden has called on his teammates to bounce back immediately after their shock loss to Welsh side, Ospreys, last weekend.

The Stormers have now slipped to sixth on the United Rugby Championship points table after the 27-21 defeat at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday and they’ve now been dragged into a big battle to just make the top eight for a place in the quarter-finals.

Van Heerden has told the Stormers website that the players now simply have to step it up for their clash with the table-topping Leinster from Ireland.

‘Stormers must bounce back’

“It’s absolutely crucial that we bounce back as a team, and as a forward pack this week,” said Van Heerden on Tuesday.

“We have certain standards that we’ve set for ourselves and last week we slipped up. It sounds cliché but the only way to get over losing is by winning.

“I think the measure of a man is not what he does when he is winning but rather what he does when his back is against the wall, and our backs are against the wall and we have to fight now.

“My advice to the guys is to not try and do anything fancy but play the rugby that the Stormers are known for, and do the things that we do well, stay in the system and execute. We have to play to our strengths and if we do that with a bit of attitude and intensity, things will go well for us.”


The sixth-placed Stormers have 40 log points, but hot on their heels are Ospreys (seventh, 40), and four teams on 39 points, namely Edinburgh, Connacht, Ulster and the Lions. There is no room for any more slip-ups.

Leinster though, like the Stormers, will be desperate for a win after going down to the Lions in Joburg.

“Leinster will be hurting after their loss against the Lions. They are going to want to rectify things that they got wrong, but so will we. We want to make things right,” said the big lock.

“It builds up to quite a dogfight, and the best way to gain an edge on them because they’re such a quality outfit is to not give them any breathing space.