Rugby World Cup 2011
Lambie: I wasn't intimidated
Pat Lambie (Gallo Images)
Auckland - It may have been the toughest match of his career, but Patrick Lambie would not be told that he feared his Samoan opponents in the South Africa's Pool D World Cup encounter on Friday.
"It all happened so fast and there was a lot of adrenaline going, so I wouldn't say I was scared or intimidated. I do enjoy a bit of contact as well," Lambie said
The Springboks booked a place in the quarterfinals when they secured a 13-5 victory over the Pacific islanders.
The 20-year-old was pleased with the improvement he has shown since making his first appearance in the tournament.
He said his confidence was growing with every match and that Friday's high intensity battle had further increased his excitement about what was still to come.
Centre Frans Steyn, wings Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard and JP Pietersen were in great discomfort after the match. Habana and Hougaard had to leave the field.
Lambie was under no illusions about how tough things were on the field.
"It was hugely physical," he said.
"With Samoa throwing everything at us it felt like we defended for most of the game, but yes, the boys really stood up and I think it was good preparation going into the next few weeks."
Aside from the massive hits he survived on attack and the vital tackles he made in defence, seeing what was unfolding up front in the forwards battle was just as exhilarating for the youngest man on the pitch.
"A few of the boys were getting stuck into some big physical confrontations up ahead of me," said Lambie.
"There was a little bit of off-the-ball stuff which we would have preferred not to have, but all and all it was a very good exercise."
Lambie said that playing with some of the most experienced hands in rugby had helped him to stay focused which, in turn, had allowed him enjoy the bruising battle.
Regardless of who the Springboks end up facing in the quarterfinal -- all indications are that it will be Australia -- he said the mere prospect of being selected for the match would be a great honour.
Work had already been done to ensure he was ready for whatever was thrown at him in the last line of defence.
"It is knockout rugby now, so to do the basics well will be very important," Lambie said.
"Some of the coaches have been spending time with me and a few of the other players so I'm looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead."