Variation important - Spies

2011-09-23 11:10

Taupo - The decision to give a big ball carrier like Willem Alberts a start in the number six jersey, ahead of ball-stealing specialist Heinrich Brussow, was always going to be to the team's advantage, said Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies.

"You need good variation and it is also important for a loose trio to play well together and fit like a glove," said Spies.

"Sometimes you sit with injuries, and some other things you have to face, so you take it week by week and see how you can adapt to it."

Alberts earned the man of the match award for his performance in South Africa's 87-0 drubbing of Namibia on Thursday, while Brussow was on the field for only 12 minutes.

Spies said he thought different players brought different strengths to the side, but one thing they had in common was that each of them would be out to do his best.

"At this stage the loose-trios have played well, so now it is all about managing the team so that they peak at the right time," he said.

"Luckily we have a good group of players and some wonderful loose-forwards who can fill those gaps [should they open up though injury]."

On a personal level, Spies has shown improvement in every match he has played at the world spectacle.

In last week's game against Fiji, he showed glimpses of his old self as he attacked the gain-line while also putting his team on the front foot with some great long distance carries.

Against Namibia, where he was a force in the line-outs, he lifted his play another notch.

Like all professional athletes, however, Spies said he would never be fully satisfied with his performance.

"There is always room for improvement," he said.

"We set goals for ourselves and we were all very pleased with the results we had against Fiji and Namibia.

"It was important for us to build some momentum."


  • AndrewG - 2011-09-23 11:24

    Good to Spies finding some form finally. But its time for some hard calls and the reality is we are much more potent on attack with Habana not in the match 22. We should start with either Hougaard or Aplon on his wing, my personal preference is Hougaard as his form is phenomenal right now.

      MaestroX - 2011-09-23 11:28

      Couldn't agree with you more AndrewG, Habana just not the player he used to be, I would play Hougaard, he also links unbelievably well with Fourie at the breakdown as his try against Whales and yesterday against Namibia (carbon copies of one another) showed.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-23 11:28


      AndrewG - 2011-09-23 11:39

      @MaestroX: Agreed with the combination. They've used that break down move with Hougaard looping from the blindside of the ruck coming open around the fringes twice, and scored both time.

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-23 11:52

      100%, variation against Fiji, Nam....if I was a saffa fan I wouldn't say Wales considering their form but against the minnows....GREAT, at least the Aoteroans aren't as predictible.....Hougaad looked pretty by the way, AWSESOME, Spies is looking good, Awesome

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-23 12:00

      Hougaard looked pretty, absolutely AWESOME, do you reckon he'll play wing against hard hitters or just look pretty, do you reckon the All Blacks take your comments seriously? HA HA. Great dive

      FJ2 - 2011-09-23 13:37

      Really? Variation is important? Mindblowing insight! @Ruck'n Punt: Hougaardt's proved himself before against the AB's and Wallabies. You're about as much of an Einstein as Spies is. And yes, I think the AB's take the Boks seriously - they're not as moronic as their supporters (especially the SA ones, some of which have reached rock bottom and are showing signs of starting to dig).

      Niekie - 2011-09-24 09:24

      fj2, nice one there for being a bit positive! There's only one moron here and that is you my friend.

  • Kaapie - 2011-09-23 11:27

    Spies a very feww good moments in the game. Too few actually

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-23 11:30

      .....Pierre Spies, at his worst, still better then tortoise overrated Duanne Vermeulen....

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-23 12:12

      As Spies says, variation is important. He varied his own game between total obscurity and occasional flashes of mediocrity.

      Tolerant - 2011-09-23 13:10

      He had a good game, can only get better. We should not forget that forwards are doing the donkey work so that the backs can score, this was done.

      Lance - 2011-09-23 14:08

      Duane Vermeulen is a legend...been down this road before...Duane is somebody that gets his hands and face dirty each game. Spies is good, Vermeulen is excellent.

      klipmuur - 2011-09-23 14:27

      Lance, my 15-month old son often returns from playing outside with dirty face & hands. Are you maybe suggesting that he could be an "excellent" rugby prospect. Thank the stars - my prayers have been answered!!!

      Niekie - 2011-09-24 09:28

      kaapie & shistirrer, I take it from your comments that you have no idea about rugby. Apart from the few good runs Spies also made the most tackles. Missed that didn't you! To busy eating bokkoms and looking for your front teeth?

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-23 11:28

    Variety: "a number or collection of different things especially of a particular class" We have Bok-class...Bokke, enjoy even more momentum in your games...go Bokke!!!

  • OU AAP - 2011-09-23 11:32

    I have to be honest,the game was a comprehensive win for the BOKS if you look at the total but ,we must not get ahead of ourselves,the amount of mistakes we made against Fiji and Namibie will be fatal against the Ausies and All Blacks,they will capatalise on mistakes and we will have to play catch up rugby,We have a lot of work and less mistakes ahead of us before we wil be lifting the William Webb Ellis Trophy again,and only a fool will dissagree

      HJS - 2011-09-23 13:23

      I suspect the boys will be a lot more cautious against more dangerous opponents that could exploit their mistakes. Nothing wrong to "practice" the expansive game against weaker sides to see where the problems are. Really hope they go all the way.

  • Shnez - 2011-09-23 11:41

    I watched Habana's 39 tries this morning on TV, and some of them are amazing but the last 2 years? What happened then i think is he was playing for his country and knew if he didn't impress he would be axed! i think the same applies to a lot of the other "contracted springbok players!" They cemented their place, now nothing to prove. look at the youngsters coming in, they have everything to play for! Some brilliant game play! any ways...Im glad records are broken! i just wish the players would keep up their performance! lets hope we make it to the end! GO BOKKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      draaft - 2011-09-23 14:55

      After 2007 , Bryan Habana said that he had reached his rugby goals, and will now find new things to motivate him, it seeems to have been booze braai and his wifey...His heart hasn't been in rugby since, he is the biggest plonker in world rugby, other that John Smit

      Carl Muller - 2011-09-24 14:28

      Please compare the times he received the ball the the times he score tries. He never gets the ball............ While Burger pass the ball to the inside with Habana on the outside.,......

  • The Hock - 2011-09-23 12:11

    I'm loving the depth in the team at the moment. So many players on form - it's very encouraging. The younger less-experienced players are really stepping up to the challenge and some of the regulars are getting back their old form. Spies, Smit and Schalk are all doing pretty well, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Matfield slots back in after the great performances by Rossouw and Alberts.

  • Zullie - 2011-09-23 12:11

    I still think next year Spies should be converted into a lock. I have a feeling that he has the potential to become the best. With Matfield and Bakkies gone next year, we have a void there - sorry to the next line of locks, but you not up to scrtac h. Maybe this is because Matfield and Bakkies have been around so long, the next in line haven't been given due opportunity and training. Elstadt may be an exception, but he looks to be injury-prone? Flip is "flippin" good is getting yellow cards, and his game has gone off and he is too slow. Modern locks need to be mobile (like Spies and Alberts), Hargreaves is too "nice", Muller has gone. I hope Bekker will be okay when he is back next year. Imagine Bekker and Spies together (m aybe too similar, but this can be trained), with Alberts at #8. GO BOKKE.

  • KC - 2011-09-23 13:01

    Agree, variation is important, you should try it, and play a bit

  • Brevan - 2011-09-23 13:48

    Spies doesn't vary his game. He tries to outmuscle everyone. With his pace and strength, he should be trying to go for gaps not run into people. He is one of the most frustrating rugby players to watch, because he could be the best loosie in the world. I personally don't think he deserves to be in the bok team based on his current form and contributions. He is an awesome ball carrier, but he needs to help out at the breakdown and make his tackles as well. You think we did well yesterday, Namibia got the better of us at the rucks for most of the game and Spies was standing back and waiting for the ball most of the time instead of securing the ball. We missed Brussouw and when Francois Louw came on it was the first time we poached a ball. Against an Australia or Ireland (which should be our first knockout game) even Brossouw may not be enough and they will kill us if we go into a game against them with yesterday's loose trio. Lambie was a bit dissapointing, but he should get a run at 10. de Jongh should start at 12 and Steyn back to fullback. The next person that tells me de Jongh and Aplon are too small need to open thier eyes. Those guys probably miss tackles or get bumped or handed off one out of 10 games while you have the bigger guys missing multiple tackles in every game. I'm concerned with the number of tackles we're missing or in some cases not even attempting. We're making good enough progress, but a few players really need to lift thier game. Still on track though!

      klipmuur - 2011-09-23 14:21

      So can I assume that 6 & 7 were also doing f-all at the breakdown before Flo came on? What are their names again...

  • Angelo - 2011-09-23 21:58

    Fully agree with Andrew Habana is not at his best play Hougaard at least for 40 min.

  • pages:
  • 1