HAVING been 22-3 and 25-10 up and in complete control, South Africa should have buried England… no?

That was the general feeling after the Springboks needed a late JP Pietersen try to seal the deal, 36-27, in the second Test in Johannesburg on Saturday. But the Boks’ most experienced forward, Pierre Spies, said afterwards that (putting a team away) would come with time.

“This team has been together for two weeks only… and we’re still growing as a team. With time, it’ll come,” said the 49-times capped No 8.

“In that first half we played some brilliant rugby and that’s what we’re after as a team… getting speed on the ball and playing with good momentum.

“But with the injuries we suffered (in the second half) we lost momentum and couldn’t get our hands on the ball… and we just couldn’t get anything going,” he said.

Spies said he was enjoying playing alongside a trio of Sharks loose- forwards – Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee and Keegan Daniel. “Very much like the whole group who’re still trying to find each other, myself and the other loosies are still growing as a unit, but Willem and Marcell are awesome players and it’s been great playing alongside them.”

As for his own form, Spies is relatively satisfied with his outputs up to now. He has come under some criticism this year, but says he is only looking to give his best for his country… even if it means he needs to change his game a bit.

“There’s so much talent and quality at loose forward and the guys are coming through at a younger age now… so at my age I have to look at ways of how I can develop and evolve to stay ahead of the pack.

“I’m liking being a ‘senior’ in the line-outs, getting up into the air more regularly, and I’m enjoying the rugby we’re playing at the moment. It’s great being part of this team.”