Easy-going Hurricanes No.15 Cory Jane wants to exact revenge for their home loss to the Stormers last year when the two teams clash in an eagerly-awaited encounter on Saturday.
The last time these two teams met was in Palmerston North on 3 March last year, with the Stormers taking home the spoils courtesy of a 30-17 win. The Hurricanes have the chance to square matters on Saturday, and that is precisely what Jane is planning on doing.
The likeable No.15 spoke exclusively to rugby365.com after a training session at Bishops in Cape Town ahead of their much-anticipated clash with the Stormers on Saturday.
Cory Jane’s season, along with the Hurricanes got off to an inauspicious beginning. They were beaten 3-20 by the Waratahs in Round One, but that game will be remembered for Jane’s ‘charge down’ of Kurtley Beale’s 22 drop-out. Jane was left reeling on the Sydney turf after the ball struck him flush on the face.
Not the greatest of starts but Jane has definitely found his feet since that day in Sydney.
Although he has had a solid season up to now, Jane said that it’s only been in the last two weeks where he has really felt in fine form.
“I’ve been happy with my defence as well as my positional play,” Jane said on a perfect autumn morning in Cape Town.
“I haven’t had much opportunity to run with the ball this season. It’s only been in the last two weeks where I’ve made some descent breaks,” a relaxed Jane added.
Jane had a fantastic game against the Bulls, setting up Shannon Paku’s try and scoring one himself.
On ‘that try’, Jane’s celebration left a few people bemused. After he dotted down he shot to his feet and imitated signing, what looked like his signature. So what was that all about?
“Every week we have a man of the match that we, as a team decide on,” explains Jane with a smile.
“I was simply signing my signature,” he added, clearly chuffed with his personal performance.
Jane said the fact that the Hurricanes put 50 points past the defending champions was a “big confidence booster”, but added that the Bulls might have “been tired after their long roadtrip.” Tired or not, it was an impressive performance from the men from Wellington.
But the challenge for the ‘Canes is to put together back-to-back performances of a similar nature.
They are renowned for their lack of consistency, a trait Jane and his teammates are well aware of.
“We are famous for being inconsistent,” he said.
“One week we can be brilliant and the next week we we’ll be shocking. Hopefully we will pull it together on Saturday.
Playing in front of a packed Newlands is intimidating for some, but Jane can’t wait for the opportunity.
“It’s going to be great. I hear there are a few All Black supporters in Cape Town, so hopefully they will be shouting for us,” he said.
Jane was keen to emphasise that the Stormers beat them last year in Palmerston North so Saturday was “payback time.”
Jane has a Commonwealth Games gold medal to his name, courtesy of New Zealand taking top honours in 2006 games held in Melbourne, but says his allegiance lies firmly with the 15-man game.
“I only played a bit of Sevens in 2006,” he said.
“I’ve been playing rugby since I was six. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said.
“I remember my teacher asking me when I was young what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said I wanted to play for the All Blacks,” he recalls.
“It’s always been a dream of mine [to play for the All Blacks].I’ll keep working hard on my game. Let’s see how it goes in the next few years,” added the fleet-footed fullback.
The Hurricanes are currently in third spot and are looking odds on to make the play-offs. Jane was not getting ahead of himself, admitting his team still needed to keep winning to make sure of a play-off place.
“We’re somewhere near the top I think [they are currently in third spot], but we still have some tough games ahead. One bad game will dent our confidence, so we still have to keep on winning, and hopefully win our first [Super 14] title,” added the No.15.
Looking ahead to the Stormers game, the back three of Conrad Jantjies, Tonderai Chavhanga and Sireli Naqelevuki have been in great form this season for the Cape-based team. Jane was aware of the potential threat they pose to them.
“They are been playing well this year,” he said of the Stormers trio.
“We will need to be very accurate with our kicking, otherwise they will hurt us,” he said.
Jane will not be getting worked up before the big clash. Instead he will relax and listen to the sounds of John Legend, R Kelly or Kanye West. The self-confessed ‘old school’ music fan says he prefers to take it easy before games and not get too worked up.
“Some of the guys listen to heavy stuff to get amped up,” said the hip-hop fan. “I’m not into rock at all. I don’t get too worked up before a game. I prefer to relax and focus when I run onto the field,” added the laid back 25-year-old.
Jane says he enjoys touring South Africa and letting his hair down. On the subject of his hair, he considerably less hair ‘to let down’ nowadays after he decided to do away with his famous dreadlocks. His clean-cut image has shed a few years off his appearance, much to the joy of his wife.
“They were getting a bit messy. My wife said I was looking too old with them!” he quipped.
Jane will be hoping that it doesn’t get messy on Saturday, as the ‘Canes continue their quest to reach the play-offs.
By Steve Farrell – rugby 365