Spies leads Bok back row charge

Pierre Spies’s match statistics support why he will again be at the forefront of the Bok forward effort against Scotland.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has only made two enforced changes to the Boks run on XV and there should be Test debuts for scrumhalf Piet van Zyl and flanker Siya Kolisi, who are among the substitutes.

On Tuesday I wrote a piece applauding Spies’s effort in Super Rugby and against Italy.

Many challenged this view.

Here are some statistics from the match to support my argument. Make of them what you will but it leaves me in no doubt as to his contribution.

Spies: Four ball carries, 16 cleans at the ruck, 18 tackles made and none missed (the 2nd most tackles in the match), one ball steal, one lineout steal and two lineout takes. He was also instrumental in the set up of the maul try and he was used as teh main kick-off receiver.

Springboks - 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.