‘For my Dad’

Gifted flank Pierre Spies finally tasted his first victory in a Springbok jersey and he wants more of that winning feeling.

Spies was named official man-of-the-match for a superb all round effort and immediately afterwards he dedicated his award to his late father Pierre Spies Snr. Spies Snr was regarded as one of the unluckiest men never to play for the Boks. His son is living his dream.

“To me it means a lot,” Spies told keo.co.za. “Today was extraordinary for South African rugby and just being a part of the match was an awesome awesome feeling. I know he was watching me and enjoyed it as much as I did. This was for him.”

Spies was originally named at No 8 blindside flank, but the loose-trio shuffled around and he started in the famous No 6 jersey. “I’m not sure if that is my best position, although I really enjoyed it out there today. I would not have been able to play like that without AJ (Venter) and Pedrie (Wannenburg) who were brilliant.”

Indeed, the back row was one of the standout features of a stirring Bok display that had the 26,000 fans standing on their seats near the end.

Spies made his debut against Australia in Brisbane in the 49-0 thrashing and made his second start against the All Blacks last weekend at his home ground, Loftus Versfeld. That was a 45-26 defeat and he was beginning to wonder whether he had what it took at this level.

But he should never have doubt and backed by his coach, Spies was given the mantle vacated by Schalk Burger this afternoon. Burger would have been proud of Spies’ effort.

And Spies is thrilled to finally get a tick in the win column. “Firstly it feels like the world is off your shoulders, you can breathe easily and you can smile at the public. It is an unbelievable experience and I definitely want to feel this way again soon.”

By Andrew Hollely, at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace