Spies needs to keep socks up

2011-09-21 15:22

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - Few need reminding that the Springboks have developed a neat little line in winning World Cups with a lock in the No 8 jersey.

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The first time was when Sharks second-rower Mark Andrews was daringly fielded there by Kitch Christie in the last two games of RWC 1995, and then in the Boks’ follow-up Webb Ellis Cup success in 2007 the versatile - but perhaps still mostly lock-suited, physically - Danie Rossouw started there in Jake White’s brew for all three matches at the knockout stage.

It was his vital, diving tackle on Mark Cueto that denied the England wing a try by a whisker in the tight, tense final.

More recently the 44-cap Pierre Spies has consistently been Peter de Villiers’s first choice in the jersey, including starts in all three RWC 2011 matches thus far.

The muscular Blue Bull has never been associated with second-row play, of course, and there have even been those who maintain he could be cutting it as a powerful wing not dissimilar to certain All Blacks and Pacific Islanders of recent times - his identically-named father was of good provincial standard in that position for Northern Transvaal, after all.

Yet Spies continues to hog a spot in the loose trio, still a mysterious man to fathom because of his bursts of electric, barnstorming running being mixed with periods of anonymity, especially in close matches involving plenty of “trench warfare”.

He’s been respectable for the Boks this season; a bit of a six-out-of-10 sort of customer and seemingly earmarked to keep his job for the duration of the tournament, however long that is for the defending champions.

But could the country still be better served at No 8? I don’t believe I am alone in regularly revisiting that debate.

Coach De Villiers passed up the opportunity to try someone else in the shirt against the rank minnows of Namibia on Thursday, and there may or may not be any special signals in that.
After all, a few stalwarts stayed in their positions, while some others were specifically rested.

Coming up against a side like the Namibians is arguably one of those no-gain situations: play badly as an individual and people will raise eyebrows pretty strongly for your failure to stamp your authority against such limited foes; play well and there’ll doubtless be a bit of “ag, it was only Namibia, man”.

My own belief is that Spies needs to shine in this match to book his onward passage in New Zealand at No 8.

Because just one issue that may come under the microscope shortly, when Victor Matfield is back to full fitness, is what will become of the evergreen Rossouw once the lineout king returns, as expected, to one of the locking berths?

Sabie-born Rossouw seems to absolutely thrive on the tournament stage, and hasn’t played at all like the 33-year-old he is thus far - he’s been possibly the most dynamic and visible Springbok on view at the World Cup, in any position.

Despite playing at No 5 lock, where he formed a fine soften-‘em-up alliance with Bakkies Botha in the first half, his ball-carries against Fiji were brilliant and loose forward-like, from start to finish.

Plus we all know that he isn’t afraid to get stuck in at coalface chores which the cameras may miss: Rossouw is a dream “team man” in that respect.

De Villiers has very recently reminded of the impact riches he can offer off his bench, with the adaptable Rossouw presumably intended as a key feature in that regard once Matfield is restored to the tight five.

But I’d like to offer up a counter-theory: what price actually starting with Rossouw at No 8, with Spies in turn being a “supersub”, offering strong second-half leg drive once the game has been chiselled open or is seemingly on the brink of doing so?

It is true that Spies offers greater mobility and that sometimes, especially when he is operating among the back three in the pack, Rossouw’s handling can let him down a tad, but I retain a suspicion that the latter will offer the Boks noticeably greater work-rate possibilities than Spies in the initial part of matches.

Besides, if you have the demonically active Heinrich Brüssow and Schalk Burger among your loose trio, you are not going to be too wanting for speed to the breakdown, regardless of what type of player is wearing No 8.

The Boks are always most comfortable fielding a collectively brawny eight, and I have a nagging belief that with Rossouw packing down immediately behind Messrs Botha and Matfield at scrum-time and being involved in other facets of the grapple and grunt element while a foothold is carved out, South Africa going into some sort of reverse mode is highly unlikely.

Even if there are one or two other Springbok players of whom you could suggest the same thing, in a nutshell, I think Rossouw is looking too good to be wasted as a substitute.

Pierre Spies, stay on your toes … oh, and don’t forget that funny little aspect of World Cup No 8 history I mentioned.

The Boks' clash against Namibia on Thursday kicks-off at 10h00 (South African time).


South Africa:
15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp.

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Danie van Wyk, 12 Piet van Zyl, 11 Heine Bock, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 7 Jacques Burger (c), 6 Tinus du Plessis, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Heinz Koll, 3 Marius Visser, 2 Bertus O'Callaghan, 1 Johnnie Redelinghuys

Substitutes: 16 Hugo Horn, 17 Jané du Toit, 18 Pieter Jan van Lill, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Darryl de la Harpe, 22 Conrad Marais

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • Martin - 2011-09-21 15:30

    Spot on Rob!! Spies's work rate is well below par with his fellow loose forwards and to be honest, his speed hasn't been much of an influencing factor. Rossouw is a machine !!!

      wombles - 2011-09-21 16:07

      haha tipies koei supporters die ou doen minder as cosatu ondersteuner op rugby veld hele ry no 8's al speler v wedstryd gekry dalk moet daar toekenning wees as hy 10m wen 2 tackles maak en 1 keer by los skrum was

      Tools1 - 2011-09-21 16:13

      Another funny little aspect of a winning world cup team is that every single team that has ever lifted the Bill Web Ellis trophy has fielded a flyhalf at inside centre, so lets hope they keep Frans Steyn there

      pcpcoetzee89 - 2011-09-21 16:26

      No - i hear you Rob but "on the udder hand Darren" - ROSSOUW simply lacks "ball handling skills" and "ball protection skills when he goes to the deck" ... while i somehow doubt his current cross tackle ability - i believe he has lost a yard or two through the years. Rossouw has not made the grade as a loosie (particularly against the big boys!) during the last 18 months ... continue with him as a super sub or Matfield's understudy ... as you rightly said - he exceeded all expectations and are currently brilliant in this role! As for SPIES - a few "klappe" from P DIVVIE prior to playing the big boys will ensure him getting into first gear! SPIES should get his horses in line and get more "productive" ... fact is - when he is on ... no one can make inroads and yards into an opposition defensive line than him!

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-21 16:59

      Thank you Rob for bringing this guy into focus. Apart from a few (maybe 3) runs into the opposition, he really has been the invisible man. Watch any of the re-plays of the past 2 games and you will see him hanging around on the fringes of the rucks and mauls (as if he doesn't really know what to do next) and NEVER getting stuck in! He really doesn't like the close encounters.

      Blikskottel - 2011-09-21 17:32

      Another funny fact - every SA RWC winning team featured a Maritzburg College old boy at flyhalf - so either Butch James needs to be picked or Morne be injured and replaced by Peter Grant!

      Fleckie - 2011-09-21 18:35

      @Mike@CapeT the village idiot And if he played for Province you would have loved him. Your bias, idiotic posts are becoming extremely boring

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-21 19:06

      @Fleckie....then don't read them!

      Renny Meere - 2011-09-21 20:18

      Rossouw is a machine, but not a very bright one.

      Jacques - 2011-09-21 20:40

      pierre spies was awesome against fiji he is much stronger than rossouw, but it is worth giving rossouw 40 mins of number 8 and then bring spies for the second half.

  • GILLBERT - 2011-09-21 15:33

    ons almal weet darem nou al dat Rob nie n groot blou bul aanhanger is nie so elke keer wat hy iets skryf en dit het iets te doen met bulls player vat dit mar met n knipie sout, want hy weet nie waarvan hy praat nie

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-21 15:43

      Ja, ...ou Rob Houwing is is nog altyd anti-Bul gewees.... ..Maar dit maak nie saak nie want sy "rugby-kennis" is maar net so min soos PDV sin... ...die Pierrre Spies-kritiseerders raak nou erg vervelig... ...miskien is jaloesie die oorsaak van al die kritiek op Pierre Spies.......

      Otello - 2011-09-21 16:11

      I should love to see him on the wing. I hope he is regaining his 2009 form.

      Dewald - 2011-09-21 16:14

      Het julle nie opgelet dat hy voorstel dat Spies ('n bloubal) met Rossouw (ook 'n bloubal) vervang word nie?? Hoe is hy anti-Bloubal? En ja, ek is anti-Bloubal.

      GILLBERT - 2011-09-21 16:49

      @dewald soos ek gese het hy weet nie waarvan hy praat nie, rossouw is al lankal nie meer n loosie nie hys te stadig so lykmy jys net so dom soos Rob

      loverugby - 2011-09-22 00:31

      Even Stevie Wonder can see that Spies is an overrated player. He had a moderate game against a second string All Blacks in PE , and that was it. He missed a lot of tackles in the past few games. Ran across the field with the ball , poor handking skills and worst of all he cannot or even will not pass a ball. Get of the anti Bull bus and put on reality glases

      Howzitekse - 2011-09-22 09:39

      Spies is n bang broek. Hy sal goed doen teen Namibia, want op sy beste is hy n "Woensdag" toets speler.

  • Paul - 2011-09-21 15:33

    Pierre played a great game agains Fiji , was good in the lineouts and carried the ball up with great strength ... and made quite a few tackles! GO BOKKE GO!!!

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-22 05:21

      Fiji are KNOWN MINNOWS... how will he perform against Aus... or even Ireland?

  • BulvanBulle - 2011-09-21 15:34

    Hy is loshande die beste nr 8 in wereldrugby

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 17:17

      Nope, that would be Parisse of Italy. Of the current crop, he is the finest in the world - end of.

      Schallamari - 2011-09-22 07:05

      Nice try, Pierre.

      Howzitekse - 2011-09-22 09:44

      Hy is lohande die swakste nr 8 in die wereld. Loshande - ja. He never gets his hands dirty. Or his jersey.

  • Brannas - 2011-09-21 15:36

    Rob, you have no idea what you talking about, You and SAFFA-CRAP belong to the same stupid aand demented tripe, Yster Spies will be very close to be named the man of the series, Spies should be Springbok Captain, end of it.

      Zip23 - 2011-09-21 15:48

      Yoh, Brannas, taking it a bit far arent you?

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-21 15:49

      ....Agree Brannas...!!! .......Pierre Spies = Superman....!!!

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-21 16:07

      Johnny, if he's Superman, his Bok jersey is made of green Kryptonite. It's painfully obvious how he vanishes into obscurity once he pulls that jersey over his head.

      wombles - 2011-09-21 16:11

      haha tipies koei supporters die ou doen minder as cosatu ondersteuner op rugby veld hele ry no 8's al speler v wedstryd gekry dalk moet daar toekenning wees as hy 10m wen 2 tackles maak en 1 keer by los skrum was

      BB=Bedonnerd - 2011-09-21 16:24

      @BRANNAS en @JOHNNY-BB ek het nog altyd die grootste bewondering vir julle rugbykennis gehad. Julle weet waarvan julle praat as dit by rugby kom. As kenners wil ek graag jul mening kry oor die volgende manne Zane Kirchner, Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier, Francois Venter, Gerhard van den Heever, Louis Fouche, Francois Brummer, Jano Vermaak, CJ Stander, Jacques Potgieter, Dewald Potgieter, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Gary Botha (sommer as kaptein), Dean Greyling, Willie Wepener, Rossouw de Klerk, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Arno Botha, Dustin Jinka, Marnitz Boshoff en Jurgen Visser As hulle deel van die squad gewees het, was ons 100% verseker van die beker. Het ek iemand uitgelaat? Stenm julle twee manne saam?.

      BB=Bedonnerd - 2011-09-21 16:27

      Ek bedoel natuurlik die wereldbeker. Ons worry nie meer oor klein bekertjies soos die Curriebeker en Vodacom beker nie

      Jack - 2011-09-21 16:33

      Brannas - jy is f**ked up!!!

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-21 16:35

      Bedonnerd (in die kop): So die BB Curriebeker-span se oog is op die Wêreldbeker, dis dié dat hulle 6e op die log lê?

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-21 16:43

      @BB=Bedonnerd... ....jou kennis oor "rugby" is uitstekend...!! ....jy ken jou rugby..!! ...mooi so...!!!!

      Kaapie - 2011-09-21 17:04

      You mean Springbok captain of the toutrek team..

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 17:29

      Ahhhhhhhhhh @Brannas - thank you. I am honoured that you would mention my name in the same sentence as Rob Houwing's. Much appreciated - didn't realise you admired and respected my insight that much - but thank you. Have a marvelous evening old chap.

      Punani - 2011-09-21 17:53

      Brannas you are a mullet. Can't the tappards go onto the Volksblad site? Let's keep this English as per the article which was written in an International language.

      Brannas - 2011-09-21 19:10

      @BB-Bedonnerd and Johnny-BB. BB ek stem saam met daardie span van jou, Met daardie span sal die WB weer in Pretoria wees(waar al die ander bekers staan).Johnny, die platkoppe sonder voortande daar van die Kaap bly maar stupid en dom, ons kan niks daaraan doen, hulle is so gebore, hulle span verloor nou al vir 11 jaar aaneen maar hulle bekke bly groot, Blou bull groete.

      FJ2 - 2011-09-21 19:11

      Same old bunch of provincialistic morons. Can’t see beyond those playing for their favourite provinces/franchises. That’s all that counts. F@%k the principle of the best players for the Boks (in fact, f@%k the Boks) – it should be someone from MY province that gets picked. The Blue Bulls and WP/Stormers may be great teams, but most of their supporters are idiots who would flunk even their blood tests .

      Gert - 2011-09-22 03:30

      @Oukoos of @Kleinboet Is een van julle twee al weer besig om arme ou Brannas en Johnny-BB se gat te krap. 'n Grap is 'n grap, maar onthou dié twee manne neem dinge ernstig op as die by die Blou Bulle kom. NS. Ek like die naam BB=bedonnerd

  • Carl vg - 2011-09-21 15:36

    If Spies can just play every game like the one against Fiji, articles like this wont be needed, but alas he sometimes seems to not get enough sleep before the game. On the same type of note who is currently the best No 8 at the tournament?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 17:20

      Sergio Parisse of Italy - hands down - no other comes close.

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 19:12

      The most important thing to remember is as you said "every game like the one against Fiji" Hello, it was Fiji, hello, let's pretend that the other games this year never happened....HELLO

      MJ - 2011-09-22 08:31

      Kieran Reid would put a pretty strong claim to that title - though he hasn't played yet due to injury.

  • The Goose - 2011-09-21 15:37

    SAFFA-CAT enters comment here ----->

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 17:22

      @Goose - :)

      The Goose - 2011-09-21 17:38

      Hehe :)

      klipmuur - 2011-09-21 18:01

      Spot on Goose. Must say I'm impressed by SAFFA'S restraint this time around. Houwing set him up nicely for a rant on his favourite topic. Spies is a good player, as is John Smit, but the lunatic fringe that visit this site on a (multiple) daily basis can't seem to accept that these guys have been chosen by people paid to do the job of selection - must be some significant reason why...

      The Goose - 2011-09-21 18:09

      androcentric way of thinking klipmuur..see if you can figure that one out...

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 19:04

      saffa cats insights lost the tri nations, mandela cup, freedom cup and Super 15, she's awesome. Any other predictions Saffa lol lol, step away from the computer Saffa cat, fresh air is good for you, in fact, why dont you try something new and at least pick up a rugby ball because surely your eyes must be tired from looking at your monitor ALL DAY

      Backstabber - 2011-09-21 23:45

      Ruck'n Punt = Rob Jones = BCC = my preciousssssssssssssssss Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

  • jk - 2011-09-21 15:38

    he plays like he hasnt got ant socks on...duane will get his chance in 2012...

      Zip23 - 2011-09-21 15:46

      Dont think Dweep will, some very good young 8's coming through.

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-21 15:46

      .....Duanne Vermeulen = slow a a tortoise..... ....slower than grandpa John Smit......

      jk - 2011-09-21 15:49

      ok, will talk again when the no 8 for 2012 bokke get chosen...if im not living in Mrceilles at that time...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-21 15:54

      Agree Zip... the young talent coming through looks pretty good. Duanne will have to play for his place, it surely is not a given

      jk - 2011-09-21 15:56


      Koos - 2011-09-21 16:19

      duane suig snot, Super Spies vreet hom vir brekvis

  • DeonL - 2011-09-21 15:38

    Spies could be a super sub like Bismarck and Hougaard and the Beast, he needs to fight for his place in the startup 15, Danie is a good idea.

  • El Nicko - 2011-09-21 15:41

    Hows this for a Bench. Beast , Bismarck , CJ ,Alberts, Spies , Hougaard , James

  • scipio - 2011-09-21 15:42

    lol Rob. Nice tongue in cheek post before tomorrows game. thoroughly enjoyed it mate. Keep up the satire. Wait what?

  • Nad kewl - 2011-09-21 15:42

    BS.... he played great in last weeks game!!

  • Sean - 2011-09-21 15:49

    On a side note check out the Haka that AB will use against the French.....I am sure Divvy hasn't seen this HAKA yet......brilliant. Which one is this NZbro?

  • Gido - 2011-09-21 15:59

    Spies is overrated.. he does't tackle, does no work in the rugs.. with his speed he should be more involved

      jk - 2011-09-21 16:03

      hes useless...

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-21 16:05

      ...your "rugby-knowledge" is overrated.....

      jk - 2011-09-21 16:10

      bb- dont think so....lets have a pub quiz to proof it...

      Bazzpete - 2011-09-21 17:28

      Can't make his wife happy if he does no work in the 'rugs" ;-)

  • Zullie - 2011-09-21 16:05

    Right - I've said it on other comments - Pierre, pack your bags when your contract with the BB ends and move to Durbs and Mark Andrews will turn you into the best lock in the world. I believe that is where we will see the best of you still to come - like the great Frik Du Preez. You still have many years of rugby and I believe you can and will become the best lock - the time is right now - with Matfield and Botha on their way out.

      jk - 2011-09-21 16:12

      first of all, andrews got nothing to do with the no backbone sharks, second durban got no NG kerke for brother spies..

      Zullie - 2011-09-21 16:16

      Hey jk, sorry to wake you Boet. Just shows how ignorant you are????? Oh yes, I remember now your passport won't get you past Van Reenes Pass. Oh and another, you be surprised at the number of NG churches and brothers there are here in the preferred province. Ha Ha, nice to have you to banter with. Go well.

  • GaweGawie - 2011-09-21 16:15

    Dis algemene kennis dat Rob se insig oor rugbysake wel deurdag en beredeneerd is. Beslis ten doele vir die kies van die beste Springbokspan uit die huidige toergroep. Sy taalgebruik is ook voortreflik. Dis hartseer dat hy hierdie insigte moet deel met 'n troepie pampoene wie se opinies so skokkend provinsiaal is, dat dit geen verdere bydrae tot 'n intelegente diskoers kan lewer nie. Dis jammer.

      warerugby - 2011-09-21 16:39


      Safaripak - 2011-09-21 18:32

      Gawie hoekom p@ep jy so fyn ?

  • Brainbow - 2011-09-21 16:16

    Spies, unfortunately, only likes to catch the shine. He does very little hard work and is not known for any crunching tackles at any stage in his career. He is a bit of poefter and top heavy (aligned with his desire to catch the shine).

  • Hanjo - 2011-09-21 16:19

    am I missing something? seems people think Spies is our best option because he had a good game against Fiji? that's one game, and a game we dominated, Spies' work rate is still no where near where it should be. his defense suspect(so is Danie's ) and he hasn't really carried well, sure against Fiji he had a few okay carries, but nothing close to what he is capable of. I also disagree that Danie is an option, Danie did well against Fijji with ball in hand, but his tackling was way below par, his technique almost ridiculously lacking. I think Willem Alberts though is an option for the no8 jersey, he's also not been at his best , but he's usually solid at worse. Spies though brings experience, but lately that is all he brings, which is worrying, he;s been blowing hot and cold, he had a good game against the Aussies , and was anonymous against Wales and the AB's , another goodish game against Fiji...I'm just not convinced he's finding form, and that worries me. I think people seem to forget, Spies isn't known for his work rate, he doesn't compete on the ground, he doesn't join too many rucks, he isn't known for his tackling ability, so effectively he's chosen purely for his ball carrying ability. which hasn't been THAT good.

      Joel - 2011-09-21 16:47

      Spot on Hajo. Spies blows hot one half & cold the next; he excels in spurts & usually in the 1st half. Then he seems to totally disappear. I feel however that Alberts is better at 7. I would start with the following 4 to 8 combo (Bakkies, Danie, Brussouw, Schalk & Spies) and then after 50 minutes amend as follows (Danie, Victor, Brussow, Alberts, Schalk with Flo on standby)

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-21 17:57

      @Hanjo....he didn't even play that well against Fiji...sure, it was a better performance than against Wales where he ws 100% innocuous. Against Fiji, he made a couple of goodish carries and, I think, I saw him at the bottom of a maul :)........nothing else to speak of!

  • warerugby - 2011-09-21 16:35

    15 Pat Lambie 14 JP Petersen 13 Jaque Fourie 12 Frans Steyn 11 Francois Hougard 10 Morne Steyn 9 Fourie de Preez 8 Danie Rossouw 7 Schalk Burger 6 Heinrich Brussouw 5 Victor Matfield 4 Bakkies Botha 3 Jannie du plessies 2 John Smit 1 Cutthroaght Steenkamp Wie stem saam??

      Zullie - 2011-09-21 16:42

      Looks pretty good to me.

      Hanjo - 2011-09-21 16:42

      Habana has had one start i this WC, I won't drop him just yet, also, Danie showed on the away leg of the Tri Nations that he is a lock, and shouldn't be picked as a loose forward. if you want to replace Spies, do it with Alberts, or move Burger to 8, and have Alberts play in his preferred blindside flank position.

      Bok-USA - 2011-09-21 17:12

      I would suggest Bissmarck at 2, Hougard at 9, Alberts at 8 or swap with Schalk and Aplon at 11.

      Bahaha - 2011-09-21 18:55

      Meerkat( Du Preez) out then it will be a good side

      Jan - 2011-09-22 07:51

      Good team, but where is Bismarck?

  • Jacques Nieuwoudt - 2011-09-21 16:46

    I must say Danie is looking much better than Pirre at the moment. Pierre Spies has always run too upright and sideways for me. he hasn't really featured in this world cup. Danie Rossouw on the other hand looks like someone who wants to be out there. He looks much more commited, same can be said for Francois Houghaard and Fourie Du Preez. When Francois comes on he looks for work. I think Francois is going to do well tomorrow. Go Bokke!

  • Fiftybucks - 2011-09-21 16:55

    Danie is not an 8, he is far too slow as was shown in the Tri-Nations games to fulfill that role but Willem Alberts should be starting at 8 and Danie should be starting at 4 as he is a superior player to Bakkies.

  • Bok-USA - 2011-09-21 16:59

    or perhaps Alberts at 8.

  • adrien.mcguire - 2011-09-21 17:19

    I have never really been a Danie Rossouw fan, due to his butter fingers and his ability to stop a Bok attack by losing the ball in contact. However he was simply magnificent against Fiji. I would love to see Spies come off the bench at outside centre or wing. I think just his physical presence there would create holes in the defence patterns of opposition teams even if he never received a pass. It would also give us the opportunity to strengthen the bench as he could cover in the forwards as a reserve. What do you guys think??

      Bok-USA - 2011-09-21 18:10

      I've also thought that Spies might be a good choice at centre, but that was in the past when he still had his natuaral build and quick reponses. Now that he is "Spiertjies" he is no longer quick, and will be sidestepped quite easily by good centres. Perhaps at wing though, as he still has speed, but he'll have to improve his tackling.

  • Midfield Maestro - 2011-09-21 17:21

    Spieeeeeees!! I think the guy will a big game on Thursday. Prediction for the weekend's major matches is SA beats Namibia (it's not rocket science), Wannabees beat USA (sad but true), the big one FRANCE beats ALL BLACKIES...yes you read it correctly and FIJI spanks SAMOA.

      Razz-ma-Tazz - 2011-09-21 17:55

      @Midfield Maestro. Sorry for the insult, but your rugby knowledge is equavalent to the IQ of a toddler. I hope you have the IQ to understand my statement. YOU AGENT....I suggest you log on to Willie Wallie next time.

  • ronplouw - 2011-09-21 17:39

    Agree 100%...Spies plays in fits and starts, and I have never seen him play well in a tight affair. He misses too many tackles, and he doesn't like to mix it with the big boys when necessary. Parisse from Italy is by far the best number 8 in world rugby at the moment.

  • Kevin - 2011-09-21 19:01

    What about keeping Danie at lock and bringing Bakkies on as a supersub as for the loose trio Burger Alberts at 8 and Brussouw maybe less pace at the back but plenty of grunt.

  • Brad - 2011-09-21 19:15

    100% correct he is either scared, lazy or completely unfit. He is never up with the game Danie would give us better tackling and line out options . Ball skills Spies does not have - he loses The ball every time he is tackled

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