Fans lose patience with Spies

2013-06-24 12:05
Pierre Spies (Gallo Images)

Francois Pienaar on Mandela

2013-06-24 09:32

Eighteen years ago, Mandela celebrated with Francois Pienaar after the Boks' 1995 RWC win. Watch this exclusive interview where Pienaar shares his thoughts on Mandela and that magic moment.

Cape Town - Sport24 readers believe it is time to look at other Bok options at eighthman after a series of poor performances from Pierre Spies.

Spies was subbed at half-time against Samoa last Saturday due to an injury to his bicep that has ruled him out for the rest of the season, however his days as the first-choice eighthman could be under threat as a host of talented loose forwards vie for his place in the team.

One area where Spies excelled was in the lineouts, where he proved a capable third option for the Springboks. However his inability to stamp his authority at ruck time and his surprising lack of impact as a ball-carrier, usually one of his strengths, could see him increasingly marginalised as the Springboks seek to improve for the Rugby Championships.

Willem Alberts put in an assured performance at eighthman for the Springboks during the second half, putting to bed question marks over his ability to perform in the position.

Spies was re-introduced to the Springbok starting line-up this year, following good form in the Super Rugby competition.

A knee injury during this year's Super Rugby season to Stormers No 8 Duane Vermeulen - who became the incumbent Springbok eighthman last year after strong performances for the Springboks following Spies' injury-enforced absence - had paved the way for Spies' return.

Vermeulen's impending return from injury during the Rugby Championship, Alberts' and Arno Botha's strong showing during the Incoming Series, as well as man-of-the-match performances from Francois Louw and Siya Kolisi, have all cast a shadow over Spies' Springbok future as Meyer searches for a balanced Springbok loose trio.

Sport24 head columnist Rob Houwing scored Spies' performances during the series as 6 against Italy, 5 against Scotland and 5.5 against Samoa.

In Sport24's poll, Spies was voted the player readers would most like to see dropped with a whopping 60% of the votes of those polled.

Sport24 asked:

"Who should have been dropped following the Springboks' poor performance against Scotland?"

This was the response:

60% - Pierre Spies
17% - Ruan Pienaar
10% - Morne Steyn
7% - Tendai Mtawarira
6% - Jean de Villiers

Here's what Sport24 readers had to say about Spies' performance:

"Pierre was a 4 at best! He's not up for this level anymore." - Chantelle Smith

"It is clear that based on performance Spies is a good provincial player but below average international. HM needs to be careful here." - Bob Jones

"He must be doing something very special to retain his position at 8. He is a Bobby Skinstad player, bring him on for the last 20, good impact and find holes when the opposition has tired legs. Other than that, he is a liability to this team." - Donovan Stanford

"I saw Spies knock on a ball which almost lead to a try, had it not been for our scrambling defence, i saw him miss tackles, i saw him falling over his own feet and saw him falling over rucks."
- DS

"Pierre must be dropped. We have a country full of players who will deliver greater impact on the pitch." - Jan Bull

"There's nothing that another 8 in South Africa can't do better than him." - Izzi Max

"Spies should be finished today, last game for him in a Bok jersey." - Brutus

"Any 8th man should be a lineout option, Pierre is not playing to his potential and dropping him might help him find himself. It's been far too long since Pierre put in a world class performance."
- Ivan Nel

"Maybe Spies should play lock..the only facet of play he contributes to. As for the rest he makes up the numbers!" - Joe Jacobs

"Spies needs to retire. He was invisible again."
- Israel Levi

"This match has made it apparent that the Boks cannot play without Flouw and a physical ball carrier like Alberts. They made all the difference at the breakdown and on defence." - Willie Oosthuizen

Pierre Spies against Scotland. (Gallo Images)

HAVE YOUR SAY: Who do you think should play 8th man for the Springboks?
Send your thoughts to Sport24!

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