Habana: Stormers want to win some pride back

Stormers winger Bryan Habana says that they will play their hearts out against the title-chasing Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.

Habana, who leaves for big-spending French outfit Toulon at the end of the campaign, did not believe the Bulls’ log aspirations would weigh heavily on the Cape players’ minds.

“This Saturday is not about trying to spoil the Bulls’ party,” Habana said who will play is game in France later this year.

“It is about the (Stormers) players getting some pride back for the supporters.

“There is a lot of pride at stake for the Stormers and for me personally. I feel disappointed that I haven’t contributed enough to see us get into the playoff stages.”

The late kick-off slot means the Stormers, in seventh place and out of the running for the playoffs, could have a say in the final outcome of the log, with the Bulls eager to remain in top spot overall after the last game of the regular season.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke knew his charges had a mountain to climb at Newlands.

“We are up against an opponent we know. It is always very physical and there are no easy metres to be gained,” Ludeke said.

“We have set our goals and we have set ourselves up to achieve great things. However, we can’t afford to look past this coming weekend.

“We have to ensure we play quality rugby, as we are up against a good team with quality players. In many ways they are similar to us — a team with a strong maul and a very competitive set of forwards.”

The Stormers had a dismal season but boasted wins over four of the six playoff qualifiers.

Victory over the Bulls would bring that count up to five, and it would lessen their pain.

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said the players would also have the upcoming Rugby Championship series in the back of their minds, as the growing injury list has opened up opportunities for Springbok selection.

“It is not something that will be in the forefront but players do think about their careers,” De Villiers said.

“That’s another motivation to play to one’s full potential on Saturday.”

 

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