Investec Stormers captain De Wet Barry says if the team can incorporate a healthy respect for the ball into their game on Saturday against the Chiefs, they would be well on their way to achieving success again.
The Stormers tackle the Chiefs at Newlands in a match where there is not much more than pride at stake for the home team. The Chiefs, on the other hand, still have an outside chance of qualifying for the Vodacom Super 12 semi-finals.
Barry, however, believes his side can spoil the Chiefs’ visit to Newlands by beating them. The centre said the injury disruption this week was not too much of a concern to him.
“I don’t think it is too bad. Breytie was at fullback last week and Marius just comes back for Jean at centre.
“Eddie packs down at tighthead again and he has enough experience of that position. Added to that Pat gets a chance to play a bit again.”
Barry said it is important for the Stormers to focus on their own game on Saturday. “Last week we played for only 20 minutes. Now it is important for us to play our own game and focus on what we need to do.
“We need to put up a 80 minutes performance. We need to take care of our possession better. I don’t think we attach enough value to our ball. We kick away possession unnecessary – look, tactical kicking is part of the game – but we need to kick with more purpose.”
He said he was convinced the Stormers do not have a problem with a lack of commitment. “We do not go on the field to lose. I don’t think there is a question mark about our commitment.
“It is definitely not that, we are as keen to win as our supporters. There is nothing wrong with our commitment, it is just a matter of too many mistakes creeping in and that we concede points at vital times.
“Last week it was just before halftime and again just after halftime. That is something we should look at as a team.”
The Springbok midfielder said the team does not lack any motivation because there still is a lot to play for. “There are three games left and it could make a big difference to our log standing at the end of the season.
“If we can win these three games we would have won five out of eleven and that could bring about an emotional shift just like that. That is what we still have to play for and a lot of the players have to prove all over again why they are Springboks.
“I am in that position too and we must show again why we are national players. That is a big responsibility and we need to prove our worth now.”
He doesn’t expect the Chiefs to make it easy on them though: “They are one of the hardest teams every year. Physically they are tough and they play a high-tempo game.
“It is going to take a lot of hard work and it is important that we are on top of our game for the full 80 minutes.
“If we can maintain our possession and put points on the board – use our chances – we can do it. I believe we create enough opportunities to score tries and that we have the game to do it. It is up to us to play to our potential and then I believe we can get back on the winning track.”
Teams for Newlands:
Investec Stormers: 15 Breyton Paulse, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 De Wet Barry (captain), 11 Gus Theron, 10 Gaffie du Toit, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson, 5 Gerrie Britz, 4 Andries Bekker, 3 Eddie Andrews, 2 Hanyani Shimange, 1 Riaan Olckers.
Replacements: 16 Lukas van Biljon, 17 Pat Barnard, 18 Rob Linde, 19 David Hendriks, 20 Neil de Kock, 21 Chris Rossouw, 22 Tiger Mangweni.
Chiefs: 15 Sosene Anesi, 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 13 Niva Ta’auso, 12 David Hill, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Byron Kelleher, 8 Steven Bates, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Wayne Ormond, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Jono Gibbes (captain), 3 Ben Castle, 2 Scott Linklater, 1 Michael Collins.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Deacon Manu, 18 Sean Hohneck, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Mark Ranby, 22 Adrian Cashmore.
Referee: Brett Bowden (Australia).