Currie Cup

Spies, Luke in showdown

2009-10-14 07:37
Pierre Spies (Gallo)
J.J. Harmse

Pretoria - Pierre Spies is satisfied that he and his loose forward team-mates, Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter, know one another well enough for cohesion not to be a problem in Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final against Western Province at Newlands.

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And yes, he is looking forward to his showdown with Luke Watson, said the strongly built No 8.

The 24-year-old has been included in the Bulls’ line-up for the knockout match in Cape Town after missing last week’s game against the Leopards with an injured finger.

Spies, who has played 28 Tests for the Springboks, sustained the injury against Griquas in his only other Currie Cup match this year.

He believes the numerous matches the youthful loose forward combination - Spies is the oldest of the three - have played together, will work in their favour.

“I think we played well together in the Super14 and complement one another well, so I don’t foresee any problems. Province have a good loose-trio and we’ll have to see how things go against their world class No 8,” he answered when quizzed about his showdown with Watson.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot, but we are not going to get involved in one-on-one battles. That takes away your focus and the team comes first. It’s going to require a huge effort from us to win there and the team will have to function as a unit,” said Spies.

“The fact that someone like Schalk is likely to come off the bench, gives you an idea of how good their loose-trio is, though I understand why he is not starting. He has only just recovered from an injury.”

He believes there is pressure on the team, but believes it is a game they will enjoy.

Spies’s inclusion at No 8 means that Danie Rossouw moves to the bench as back-up lock. Pedrie Wannenburg is providing loose forward cover.

The only other change since the Rustenburg game is the return of Bryan Habana as wing and Fourie du Preez who will start at scrumhalf. Heini Adams and Gerhard van den Heever move to the bench.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was delighted after Habana trained without any problems and the Bulls’ scrumming session also went well.

“It is the strongest team I could have picked and no coach can ask for more at this stage of the season,” he said.

“We just need to focus on the right things. Fortunately the team is experienced enough to know where to focus.”


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