A good performance and a victory. That is on De Wet Barry’s wish list for Saturday, when he runs out for the Investec Stormers for the 50th time.
The big-tackling centre will be leading the Stormers only the second time on Saturday when they take on the Crusaders in a vital Super 12 match.
When asked on Friday how he feels about his achievement, the 26-year-old said: “It is nice. It is a nice privilege and a good milestone to reach. It feel funny, but it is something I am looking forward to.”
Looking back on his first 50 games, Barry said the first one was pretty special. He made his debut in the 2000 season against the Brumbies.
“The previous year I was sitting in the crowd and the Stormers did really well. The next year I was part of the team and that was special. Other highlights were our games against the Blues, in 2000 and last year and also the semifinal last year.
“We did not win it, but we played a good game and it was a pity we could not go through to the final.”
Barry said a good performance on Saturday would make him happy, but a victory would be the cherry on top.
If it were not for injuries, Barry probably would have played his 50th game a season ago. He said his team is highly motivated to do well this weekend against a star-studded Crusaders side.
The Stormers are with their backs to the wall and need to win every one of their remaining games if they still want to reach the semifinals.
“We know we are playing against a good side. I am, however, full of confidence that things will go well tomorrow.
“The guys are keen to put on a good performance. We had a win last Saturday and the points are in the bag, so I believe we are ready to do well this weekend,” commented Barry.
The Springboks vice-captain said he believes the injury-ravaged Stormers are still capable of upsetting the Crusaders. “I believe we have what it takes to beat them. We have been disrupted by injuries, but the fact that we’ve won last Saturday will help.”
That does not mean they take a victory for granted. “They have a good team and they are very consistent. This will be a big challenge for us, but I believe every single player will rise to the occasion.”
Investec Stormers: 15 Gaffie Du Toit, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 De Wet Barry (captain), 11 Jean de Villiers, 10 Chris Rossouw, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Pietie Ferreira, 7 Gerrie Britz, 6 Luke Watson, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rob Linde, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Eddie Andrews.
Replacements: 16 Lukas van Biljon, 17 Riaan Olckers, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 David Hendriks, 20 Neil de Kock, 21 Gus Theron, 22 Tonderai Chavhanga.
Crusaders: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Johnny Leo’o, 6 Reuben Thorne (captain), 5 Norm Maxwell, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Tone Kopelani, 1 Dave Hewett.
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Campbell Johnstone, 18 Sam Broomhall, 19 Sam Harding, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Andrew Mehrtens, 22 Scott Hamilton.
Referee: George Ayoub (Australia). Kick-off: 17:00.