“If We Look For Excuses, It’s Not Going To Help” – Ruben van Heerden

Photo Credit: Speedshots.co.za

Cell C Sharks' lock Ruben van Heerden is philosophical about the season so far, and while he shows the hurt of losing against the Vodacom Bulls, there is a sense of commitment to righting the wrongs.

“In all honesty, the Vodacom Bulls were really good in that game,” he admits of Saturday’s clash in Pretoria.

“We started well, especially upfront where we stopped their mauls, came off our line quickly and hit them ball-and-all in the tackle and we scrummed well.”

He admits that in the first half-hour of the game, the team were firing, then somewhere the momentum shifted and “we just kind of lost our way.

“Going forward, it’s about maintaining that momentum for the full 80 instead of just the first 30.
We’ve identified this as something we need to work on, it was a similar story against the Lions, but we’re working hard on rectifying it and it’s something we will change, definitely.

“It was very disappointing losing to the Bulls, especially the manner in which we lost, but the coaches have been very hard in reviewing that game. We’ve identified all the areas where we fell short and it’s very much fixable which is what we’re working on this week and what we intend on delivering against the Pumas on Saturday.”

For van Heerden, it’s important that there is a process of improvement to achieve the team’s goals.

“We’re a process-driven team, taking it game by game, although we do want to win every single match we play because every point is crucial. We know we can’t afford to drop any more points from hereon in.”

It’s been a stop-start season in every respect of the world and even more so with a warm-up match, a Springbok game, a tournament clash and then a bye before this past game. In anyone’s books, it doesn’t make building momentum any easier.

“We can look at the bye, we can look at many things, even the lockdown, but if we look for excuses, that’s not going to help us at all,” he admits. “We are in the position we are and now it’s about building and improving every day, every week and trying to get back to the place we were in Super Rugby.

“We owe it to ourselves after the great Super Rugby tournament we had to achieve something in this competition. We can’t ride that wave, it’s over, but now we have this comp and have to perform. It’s in our DNA to win anything we play in, we’re not here to take part, we want to do well. We owe it to our fans, we owe it to ourselves.”