Vodacom Super 14

Battle of the eighthmen

2010-04-08 22:58
Pierre Spies (Gallo Images)
JJ Harmse

Pretoria – There could not be more different personalities than the two eighthmen that will pack down in Friday’s Super 14 match between the Bulls and Chiefs in Hamilton.

Pierre Spies signifies everything that is positive, while the Chiefs’ Sione Lauaki is the opposite.

The New Zealand Rugby Union has just punished Lauaki for bad behaviour. This follows an incident in a Hamilton bar in March.

He also had to attend an anger management class last season after a motel room in Auckland lost three windows and a TV set during a fit of rage.

In 2006 a security guard and fellow player suffered under the fists of the tattooed loose forward.

Spies is a keen witness of his Christianity, does motivational talks in his free time and had to overcome serious illness to continue his career. Where he is a fit athlete, Lauaki is often carrying excess bodyweight.

However, rugby is a great equaliser and they will be measured against who will make the biggest contribution in his team’s performance.

Spies will be spurred on by his 50th match for the Bulls. He made his debut as wing against the Highlanders in 2005.

“Yes, I certainly did not think I would play 50 games after that start,” Spies joked. The Bulls lost that game 0-26.

“I am very excited about the milestone. It makes you realise how blessed you are to be able to play for a team for so long and I am very grateful for the chance.”

Spies gets more serious when he talks about the clash with Lauaki.

“It’s a daunting loose-trio, but in the Super 14 you play against quality players every week. The challenge is to play well every week. This week it’s the Chiefs loose-trio that we have to get the better of,” he said.

The Bulls have not beaten the Chiefs in Hamilton before, but according to Spies it is not what motivates them.

“We try to eliminate external issues like that and rather focus on what we want to do in the game. This is a big challenge, but after the Blues game we realised again that we will have to play well for 80 minutes to pull it off. I think we can.”

Read more on:    super 14  |  pierre spies

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