Lambie on THAT penalty...

2014-10-09 10:11
Patrick Lambie (Gallo Images)
Durban - It has been a tough year for Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie after a lengthy injury layoff, but the 23-year-old is brimming with confidence after the Springboks’ win over the All Blacks last weekend.

The Witness caught up with Lambie, the Sharks pivot currently on his only break until December with a Bok training camp and the outgoing tour to Europe scheduled for next month.

His big match temperament showed this weekend when he nailed the winning 55-metre penalty to beat the All Blacks for the first time since 2011. Ever humble, Lambie was just happy to be a part of the momentous occasion.

“It was awesome being a part of a special Test match like that and we haven’t beaten New Zealand in a while, so it was really special to be involved in the first one in a few years,” he said.

Although the Boks finished second in the Rugby Championship, he believes the victory was part of a bigger picture.

“It’s hugely important for the Springboks to have beaten them now going into next year for the World Cup. I think it’s probably more of a mental thing than anything else; we’ve gotten over that hurdle and now we can hopefully do it again.”

On a personal note, Lambie has been eager to get some game time after a bicep injury saw him miss most of the Super Rugby competition. Despite the time spent on the sidelines, he was still confident enough to step up and slot a monster kick to sink the All Blacks.

“We had a few moments while they were reviewing the call on the big screen and Jean (De Villiers) came over to me and said ‘Pat are you comfortable taking this kick, do you have the distance - if not we will kick for the corner and have a crack from there,” he recalls.

“I didn’t really ever worry too much about the distance, the really nice thing about playing at Ellis Park is the altitude - if you kick the ball nicely, it goes very far so coming from Durban it’s always very pleasant and I caught it nicely and the rest is history,” he said with a smile.

Not one to show too much emotion, Lambie was pumped up after the kick and he puts it down to finally getting things right after a difficult year.

“It’s been an interesting year with injury and trying to get back on the field.

“I think for the Springbok group as well, we’ve got ourselves into positions to win those tight games before and we just haven’t come out on the right end on the scoreboard when the whistle blows.

“So that was a big moment for the whole group and for myself personally, so I think that’s why that emotion came out,” he said.

With the World Cup a while away, the next call of duty is the Northern Hemisphere tour. “We’ve got a big tour - Ireland, England, Italy and Wales. I think if we win all four games, it will go down as a really good year for the Springboks. None of them will be easy, so I think we’ll be looking to build on this last performance and take it into the end of year.

“I think it will be a huge step for the group, because that’s where the World Cup will be next year, similar conditions, similar time of year and we’ll be looking to play some good rugby.

Part of the Boks’ success against the All Blacks was a change in the way they played the game with more of a focus on keeping the ball in hand and playing the situations in front of them. According to Lambie, that is what the Boks have been working towards.

“I think that’s been coming for a while now. We’ve been developing a pattern and structures where we are in a shape to kick or play from all different areas on the field - it doesn’t matter if we are on our tryline or the opposition’s and I think that’s where the game is going nowadays.

“You can’t kick everything and you can’t run everything, so it’s about getting those patterns and structures in place and making the right decisions. It’s something we’ve been working hard on in the last year or so and it has definitely shown in the way we are playing now.”

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby championship  |  pat lambie  |  rugby

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