Inside centre De Wet Barry is banking on more than his neighbours’ sporting predictions to propel the Investec Stormers into the Super 12 rugby semifinals
The Stormers have maintained third place on a jammed points table despite their inability to string two good performances together.
A loss to the Crusaders at Jade Stadium would leave their future precariously placed. Still, Barry is confident the Stormers are ready to finish their New Zealand tour on a strong note and the team are getting support from many corners.
“My neighbour said to me we have one good game, one bad game, one good game. It’s just happened that that’s how it has gone. “So maybe my neighbour is right and this means we are due to win again,” Barry said with a wry smile.
But the midfielder, who has 23 Springbok caps, has confidence his teammates can reverse the 14-29 loss they suffered to the Chiefs as their roller-coaster form ride continued last week.
“Losing is a disappointment, for sure. But you can’t sulk on it for three days. The quality of a good side is one who can pick themselves up after a bad game.”
Barry is also not prepared to use the suspension of his captain, Corne Krige, who will miss the match after earning an eight-week ban for head-butting, as an incentive to win.
“It’s sometimes dangerous to get emotional about things. If the emotion is getting hold of you, your head is not thinking and things are not happening the way they should.”
Barry said he felt for Krige who had now played his last Super 12 match. “It’s sad for him. I’m feeling very sorry for him because you don’t want to retire from Super 12 like that.”
Bringing down the Crusaders on home soil would be one way to put the week’s disruptions behind them, he said. But Jade Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Barry, who is yet to win on the park.
The Stormers lost 31-47 in 2000 and 21-41 two years ago. “It’s time for a change,” said Barry, who is keen to run on to the park after sitting in the stands in Hamilton last week. “You’re more nervous sitting in the stands than playing itself.”
Barry suffered a grade one tear to his hamstring but has been training this week and will run out against the Crusaders. He is also looking forward to containing the classy Crusaders midfield and is waiting with interest to see which team coach Robbie Deans names for the home side.
“The thing with the Crusaders is they have three very good ball players next to each other in midfield,” he said of centre Aaron Mauger, Dan Carter and rookie Cameron McIntyre.
“They all have a good step and quite a bit of speed. Obviously we have to look after them well. “I definitely rate all of them highly and I see Casey (Laulala) is doing well as well. Whoever they play it will be a very good midfield.”
He said the Crusaders were in a similar position to the Stormers and needed the points from a victory this weekend to make their semifinal spot safe.
“It’s the points we take away from the other teams are the points you have. We must make our own destiny.”