BARBARIANS will be playing to keep their finals hopes flickering when they host Guyra today.
While the season is only halfway through, a loss would leave the Baa Baas with a lot of ground to make up.
They’re already seven points adrift of the Ghosts.
“It’s must win,” centre Sam Myers said.
They can’t afford to slip back any further.
Myers is back in Baa Baas colours after spending a year in Japan.
The 22-year old is in his final year of a bachelor of languages degree, majoring in Japanese.
That was how the opportunity to travel over there came up.
And while he was mainly there for study, he did pull on the rugby boots playing for his university in the university competition.
It was certainly a different experience.
“I found it to be a lot quicker,” Myers said.
“The boys over there are not as big as the blokes we’ve got here.”
That made for a much faster game.
The dedication was also eye-opening.
“The training was intense,” Myers said.
“We trained Monday to Saturday.”
And then played on Sunday.
“It was full on. We did uni from 9-5 and then training from 5-8,” he said.
“They are very committed to their team sports.”
Originally from Newcastle, Myers only took up rugby when he started at uni.
He was roped into rugby by some friends, having played league growing up, and played for the Baa Baas his first two years of uni.
Myers’ time in Japan also saw him have a positional switch.
“I played outside centre over there, which is what I’m playing here as well,” he said.
“When I first joined Baa Baas they played me on the wing.”
He said when he moved to Japan he really wanted to try centre.
“It was a learning curve for me, moving from winger to centre,” he said.
Especially with the quicker pace of the game.
He missed the early part of the season for the Baa Baas after breaking his finger and being out for six weeks.
“It definitely helped coming back straight from Japan and getting straight into it,” he said.
He carried in a fair bit of fitness, although he lost some of that in his time on the sidelines and is now “playing catch-up”.
The Baa Baas have been in a lot of their games but just can’t quite crack it for the win.
Myers said a lot of focus had been on defence.
“Making our tackles and making tackles in numbers,” Myers said.
Particularly in the backs. The Ghosts really hurt them through the backs last time they met.