Further Spies blow for Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, In the news, Original Content, Super Rugby on 24 Feb 2014 at 16:39
Tagged with : , , , ,

Supersport’s Brenden Nel has confirmed that Bulls captain Pierre Spies has been ruled out of action for the remainder of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

The big Bok number 8 has apparently suffered a recurrence of the bicep injury that forced him to spend 6 months on the sidelines in 2013. He apparently re-injured the muscle during the Polokwane warm-up game against the Stormers 4 weeks ago, but played against the Sharks last week regardless. When the pain in his arm refused to abate, Spies went for further testing and was withdrawn from the side that played the Cheetahs last Friday night.

It’s now been revealed that the muscle is again ruptured and Spies will go for immediate surgery to correct the problem, meaning no further rugby for the duration of the Super Rugby season.

The Bulls have already lost blindsider Arno Botha to a serious knee injury, while opensider Deon Stegmann is yet to see action in 2014 due to a groin injury. The latter is also unlikely to face the Lions this weekend.


  • The problem now is – The Bulls sit with exactly the same loose trio as the Currie Cup – where they were handed their behinds on a platter. Management were banking on these 3 to be ready this season and it doesn’t seem that either will be soon.
    No planning.

    If I were them, I’d look at Schoeman from Griquas and go on my hands and knees and beg Stander to return to the Bulls. But I guess I’m only dreaming.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.02.14 16:50:22 by Blue Centurion Reply
    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 1) :Not trolling with this question, just honestly interested in your opinion. How much of a loss is Spies to the Bulls campaign?

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.02.14 16:54:44 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : let me jump in…. in the wider context of a pack that has literally NO experience, it’s huge.

    Let’s concede that Spies played with an injury in Durban and thus didn’t give of his his best. I think it’s fair to say that they simply have nobody of any quality to replace him, Botha or Stegmann.

    I do not buy into the Sheep du Plessis hype. He may run around a lot, but he plays like a lock caught out of position, which is exactly what he is.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.02.14 16:58:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 1) : never mind CJ Stander…. even a guy like Brynard Stander could have been a great addition for the Bulls. But he’s in Perth now and they sit scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Who the hell is actually running the show there now? Because he’s clowning.

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.02.14 16:59:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of his either – since 2007. As a player he won’t be missed, but there is no proper back up to replace him. So, his experience will be missed more than anything else he offers.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.02.14 17:00:26 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • Jacques Engelbrecht is not a bad replacement? I think the problem is they don’t have any variety in the loose trio and yet they also don’t have anyone who is world class. To illustrate the point, look at the Sharks back row. 6: Coetzee who runs around tackling everything in sight and seems to be working hard on the “fetcher” aspect. 7: Alberts crash baller of note! Exactly what you want in a blind sider, get the ball in hand and simply run over the opposition with your brute strength. 8: Kanko maybe lacking the brute strength of some 8s but makes up for it by not only crash balling but looking to put support players into space and linking.

    Now look at the Bulls. Ross is an average 8 playing out of position. Du Pleiss an out of position lock and lacking the bulk that makes certain locks and option at 7. Engelbrect is in my humble opinion the only one who really deserves his place but is perhaps more suited to 7 than 8?

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.02.14 17:12:32 by Half-Pint Reply

  • @Half-Pint (Comment 6) : perhaps you’re right. Vleis is not a bad player and was probably the only one to look even semi decent against the Sharks. I was disappointed in his performance against the Cheetahs though.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.02.14 17:36:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • This pretty much eliminates all of the old guard from when the Bulls were the pace-setting SA franchise. So now we’ll see where Ludeke is actually a decent coach, or an impostor riding on the coat tails of the system- and player legacy left by his predecessors…

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.02.14 18:03:37 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 8) : of the match 22 from the last time they one super rugby, only five remain.

    Well, 7 if you count the injured Spies and Stegmann.

    Of those, only Kruger and Hougaard (who was a wing then) retain starting positions. Flip van der Merwe was on the bench. Matfield went from starter there to retirement to bench now, while JLP went from that bench, via France, to being in the Bulls Vocadom Cup squad now.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.02.14 18:18:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • Don’t think he will be a loss. Think VM could replace him and do a beter job.
    Bulls bigest problem is at 10. Need to find a MS clone asap.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.02.14 19:32:01 by JD Reply
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  • For a side that has spent 10 years buying up every lightie to pull the Bok u/19 jersey over his head, they sure managed to cock this up.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.02.14 19:42:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 11) : you are not wrong… almost beggars belief

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.02.14 22:12:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • from all the blue eyed Supersport & commentators it is chickens coming home to roost. Maybe Hugh Bladen wont be so biased for the bulls now 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.02.14 07:34:06 by Dunx Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 11) : The problem is after Meyer left, the u/19 contracts were their only concern and they neglected the top players, so when they left, a gap appeared between the age group quality players and the guys who left. Now we scrape the barrel, as Rob so eloquently put it.

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.02.14 07:54:46 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 14) : I have to admit, when it comes to the Bulls I am far too prejudiced to assess their union in anything like an objective fashion.

    You do seem to be a bit more balanced in this regard, so I am curious, what is your opinion of Ludeke?

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.02.14 07:59:52 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Xander janse van Rensburg is doing the contracting now, and he does not have many fans.

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.02.14 08:04:19 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 16) : I’ve heard that. I’m still curious regarding your opinion of Ludeke as a coach; most of my Bulls colleagues are pretty scathing in their assessments

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.02.14 08:09:42 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 15) : On paper, he won us 2 Super Rugby titles and came close last year. But he is not open for change unless the crap hits the fan real hard. And then he needs to be told what to do. I see him as puppet.
    I don’t blame him for the team’s crisis, but if he had any balls, he would have stood up to management and said – I can’t coach if I don’t have a proper team, give me proper players to coach.
    That said, a guy like Mallett did wonders at Boland, Heyneke took SWD to the semi-finals in the Currie cup, and look what Jake did at the Brumbies. I don’t have that same confidence in Ludeke with a weaker side at his disposal.
    He hasn’t really brought anything new to the Bulls setup – players or ideas. He just goes with the flow. When things go well, he looks good, otherwise you’re screwed. Must be why his name never comes up when potential Springbok coaches are mentioned, even though on paper he won 2 super rugby titles.

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.02.14 08:15:25 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Culling Song (Comment 17) : Weird thing is he is SA’s most successful super coach – 2 trophies in his cupboard 😳

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.02.14 08:16:15 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 18) : Thanks, interesting insights there. Agreed that he is not at the root of the problem, but my feeling is that his deficiencies are now going to be shown up badly because of the circumstances he finds himself in.

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.02.14 08:21:59 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : My main concern is that a weak Bulls side does nothing for the Boks.

    The problem at the Bulls comes down to financial planning. They keep contracting 50 junior players a year, keep increasing their salaries at a rate greater than their sponsorships and season ticket prices increase and this leads to them offering their senior players reduced salaries, which in turn leads to them leaving the union.

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.02.14 08:38:34 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 21) : You see this is what I do not understand in SA, this constant harping of a “strong Bulls” is good for SA. How? Does it matter if all the SB come from other Unions other than the Bulls/wP? Its something I find really diffiuclt to understand.

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.02.14 08:59:56 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 22) : its called arrogant stupidity,and what does Huge Mistake now do cconsidering his blue bias,trawl the old age homes for past bullarinas?,the house of cards is now tumbling,it can only be good for SA rugby as now maby the Boks can enter the modern game with less and. Less of a Bullarina influence,but perhaps not that why I think our hands are so far off that RWC trophy its not even funny

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.02.14 10:05:42 by benji Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 19) : In the same breath though those two Super Rugby trophies are often attributed to Meyer with Ludeke considered as more of an assistant in helping the Bulls achieve those victories.

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.02.14 10:18:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 22) : I just mean that it can’t be good for our other teams to play weakened sides. It doesn’t prepare the players for the tough games.

    I want all of our sides to be strong, but obviously the Sharks to be the strongest :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.02.14 10:41:12 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 25) : Okai that makes sense. Its just that in lots of blogs I keep reading that, and I wonder why does it matter where SA rugby draws their players from. But yes would rather they meet strong oppo than not 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.02.14 10:47:57 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 26) : I suspect that has a lot do with the winning culture the Bulls have/had (still a little early to decide on whether past tense should be used). You definitely want players with that sort of culture in the Bok team in the hopes that it rubs off on team mates. The more correct phrase might be something like “A union with a winning culture is good for SA rugby” but that makes it harder for Steve Hofmeyer to write songs about 😈

  • Comment 27, posted at 25.02.14 11:29:22 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 27) : Haha!

    Speaking of having strong SA sides though, why I think its important is simply to stop gifting the kiwi’s and aussies precious SR points.

    Also having healthy competition for positions in the Boks is never a bad thing.

  • Comment 28, posted at 25.02.14 11:47:07 by gregkaos Reply
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  • They certainly have a challenge. Maybe they can borrow Potgieter from Australia,Ashley Johnson from Ireland,van Velze from England or even some of the Saracens team! 😈 What happened to the baby bok flank/8th man that partnered botha at world cup?Kwagga Smith & Ruan Steenkamp. I though Bulls bought them.

  • Comment 29, posted at 25.02.14 12:12:45 by markm Reply

  • Alot of talk about the bulls loose trio being the problem, and the coach taking a lot of flack but I think the shotgun is being aimed at the wrong players.

    The bulls have never developed an alternative to Morne Steyn and thats where the majority of their issues lie. They have two flyhalfs that I am aware that they can call on and neither have much currie cup experience let alone Super15 experience. They have one scrumhalf who is half decent. Neither of these positions is able to ignite their backline at the moment and so the bulls are looking decidedly one dimensional. Put pressure on the fowards and slow the ball down just a bit and everything falls to pieces.

  • Comment 30, posted at 25.02.14 12:39:30 by byron Reply

  • @byron (Comment 30) : And that’s why it amazes me that JLP is even on the bench. That’s Super Rugby experience right there as well as a solid boot under pressure that they could call on.

  • Comment 31, posted at 25.02.14 13:00:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • 10, 12, 13- the problem, and perhaps the blinkers attached to the Bulls coaching staff.

  • Comment 32, posted at 25.02.14 13:17:26 by Talent Reply
  • @markm (Comment 29) : I think Kwagga is with the Blitzbokke

  • Comment 33, posted at 25.02.14 13:23:03 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • The problem with the Bulls is that there too many guys calling the shots and the younger guys have no direction or experience themselves to put things right. Matfield is a big cause of this chaos, he is half playing, half coaching and trying to be captain. So how comfortable does that make Spies (1st game) and then Flip (2nd game). He then comes on and does more talking than playing. Half the Bulls side want to run the ball but their flyhalf is 40m back in the pocket wanting to kick it which is against the natural instinct of his side. Its just a mess.

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.02.14 14:18:03 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 33) : I also think he’s a Lion? Unless he moved

  • Comment 35, posted at 25.02.14 14:32:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • Im sorry I mean nothing personal to the guy, but Pierre Spies as a rugby player is one of the most over rated players I have ever seen.

    His only area of consistent performance is as a line out jumper…

    – Shockingly short in physicality. (despite his awesome athleticism)
    – Cannot create for others
    – No deception in his carries
    – Poor defender

    He is only good in a team that is dominant and where he is put into space.

  • Comment 36, posted at 25.02.14 14:48:16 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 36) : Spies was good before his “long problems” in 2007. Since then he was never the same.

  • Comment 37, posted at 25.02.14 22:40:34 by JD Reply
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