Lambie v O'Connor duel excites

2011-02-28 22:50

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Two of the most exciting young rugby players in the world are set to oppose one another in Perth on Saturday when the Sharks and the Western Force meet in a Super Rugby match.

The Force’s decision to move James O’Connor to flyhalf paves the way for a duel between him and star Sharks No 10 Patrick Lambie.

Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford noted that the O’Connor move is one that can benefit the Force.

“He is definitely a player with the X-factor and someone we will have to watch closely. Now that he is even closer to the action and will get more possession, he is bound to have a greater influence on the game,” said Bashford.

“Pat is someone we have a lot of faith in and he is growing as a player. It can be quite something if those two (O’Connor and Lambie) play against one another.

The Sharks arrived in Perth on Monday and intend taking things easy for the next day or two.

“It will be important that we look after our bodies on this tour. The matches will all be physically demanding and for this reason we won’t overdo things during the week,” said Sharks coach John Plumtree.


  • Ulrich - 2011-02-28 22:58

    O'Connor may edge this chap on experience although I do not know how much of experience he has playing at 10.

      Russell - 2011-03-01 08:14

      Lets be honest Ulrich ,does Pat ever get edged? he is mature and humble beyond his years....

      dushaas - 2011-03-01 09:16

      When it comes to maturity, I believe they are both more or less on the same level. But honestly, I recon O'Conner is just a better player. He's got a better step and his faster. He has scored some scintilating tries for the force and the wallabies and the only stand out try I can remember from lambie was the one in the CC final. I know it's about much more than that and I am quite excited about this match up. Time will tell

      Xavier - 2011-03-01 10:16

      O'Connor is light years ahead of lambie...sorry but lambie is overrated.

      StefJo - 2011-03-01 10:44

      Yep...Lightyears! Seriously!

      Sh@rks Fever - 2011-03-01 12:08

      @ Xavie and Stejo. And Lambie is light years ahead of any other Fly Half in SA.

      kosie - 2011-03-01 12:24

      we'll have to wait and see, so far lambie is making elton look like a fool, and last year everybody said elton is the future star. O'connor is just as good,can't wait for the match up

  • mike - 2011-02-28 23:54

    I would still preferr to see Lambie at 15, I believe thats his best position and were the Boks need him. Will be interesting to see how he goes for the rest of the Super 15 though.

      Iann Leonards Pitout - 2011-03-01 04:56

      Lucky you not the coach, Players need to stick to positions they introduced in, we need forward thinkers and if players are switched around all the time all they do as think of how to play that position which results in a lack of forward thinking. he's going to be the best flyhalf in the world soon you will see.

      george.traut - 2011-03-01 11:19

      @ Iann Leonards Pitout The switch will not be that drastic. If i'm not mistaken, 15 is where he played for the baby boks and also where he started for with the sharks. And please tell O'Conner that he should lack forward thinking because he is switched all the time. But ja. I would prefer lambie at 10. We need Steyn at 15. He needs to be as far away from 10 as possible!

      mike - 2011-03-01 20:32

      Well actually Iann you lost your own argument, he started at 15 and has played almost all his rugby at 15. Sharks moved him to 10 for the CC. Well my issue is Frans looked out of it at 15 last year when he played for the Boks so I'm not convinced his the answer for the Boks at the moment, also no chance Lambie gets the 10 slot ahead of Morne unless he drastically imporves his kicking both out of hand and at polls. As I said though lets see how he does in the Super 15 as he is yet to prove himself at this level.

  • Hannes Perth - 2011-03-01 02:34

    @Ulrich. Spoke to James on Saturday during the members day. I told him that I was surprised at how well he played at 10. He told me that he played most of his rugby at school level at 10 and is very comfortable there. He surely looked good at 10 - better than Quade on the day. I do think inside centre is still James' best position but he has so much class that he fits anywhere in the back line. With the Sharks playing a similar pattern to the Warratahs it will be interesting. The weather will play a major role as rain is forecasts on Saturday after three weeks of sticky heat. The Force side looked good at training especially their defensive organisation. I expect a lot of kicking for position as both sides are very good on defense.

      Iann Leonards Pitout - 2011-03-01 05:06

      His a class player, lets hope he adapts well keeps, O'conner strikes me more as a front foot player that likes to attack...a flyhalf's true skill comes out when the teams on the back foot, and the scrumhalf can't get clean ball to the fly half early enough for him to attack or react. Remember, his not big, so on the back foot and being closed down by big defenders will be hard. Look at how Matt Gitau struggled and even Daniel Carter earlier in his career. Now I'm not saying the Sharks will be on the front foot, I think they'll find it hard to play here as 6 hours time difference is a lot harder to shake off than 8 or more...

  • Iann Leonards Pitout - 2011-03-01 04:45

    I think its unfair to expect a match up between the two...First off, Pat needs to play his own game at Flyhalf which is way better than most flyhalf's out there. Pat's at a make or break stage now, he needs to settle within himself and let his game become second nature. O'conners has gone through that now, and that's the only advantage he has over Pat as they both have talent and vision. Expecting Pat (if there are any) to match up to O'conner will only cause harm to his natural game. Example is Ruan Pienaar who had brilliant vision and due to high expectation and comparison ended up being shifted and swapped in position and he ended up being just average. Carter on the other hand was allowed to settle in his position and become what he is today a natural flyhalf who will on a bad day still be above average. Pat has this all I hope for is that they will allow Pat to mature with the game and not force him to match up to existing stars.

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-01 06:30

    Earl is better.

      rvanniekerk0 - 2011-03-01 07:02

      Hhahaha, I nearly chocked on my cereal :/

      Reacher - 2011-03-01 07:04

      Bulls Suck

      Preshan - 2011-03-01 07:14


      Jean - 2011-03-01 07:30

      Pappa Smurf is the best! What a Awesome guy!

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-01 07:42

      @Jean.....rats from the same ship? PS sucks!

      Jean - 2011-03-01 08:13

      I am a full on Stormers supporter! figured Pappa Smurf must be a comedian because of all the 'kak' he talks! what a boytjie!

      Russell - 2011-03-01 08:18

      better at what? missing kicks,putting on weight ,what?

      Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-01 08:21

      Jean klink soos n homosapien.

      Jean - 2011-03-01 08:23

      n homosapien vir jou! Jy rock!

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-01 08:49

      @ Jean...sorry, got it wrong :), PS still sucks!

      Jean - 2011-03-01 08:56

      Agreed, the question is who?bwahahaha!

      xperdt - 2011-03-01 10:10

      earl is def better!!!!!!!!! all do agree

      Kean Kurajas - 2011-03-01 13:13

      @smurf: I cant believe you dont know what a homosapien is. Obviously puts the rest of your comments into perspective.

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-03-01 07:34

    Pat Lambie is pure class and I do believe that Plum is the correct coach for him at the moment. He has managed to let this young man play his game without changing any systems and rather adapting a game plan to suit his backline and Lambie is revelling in this role. He has class,talent and the correct set of values and is strong enough in his mind to handle the pressures that come with being a superstar. He could very well be South Africa's answer to Dan Carter. His kicking will come with time and the most important thing is he's enjoying playing rugby as he plays for a winning team. I kind of feel for Elton as he is also massively talented however you cannot be as sure when you playing in a team that has not yet learnt how to win. That all being said we in SA are in a fortunate position where we are (for a change) blessed with attacking fly halves and young ones at that....

      Russell - 2011-03-01 08:19


      dushaas - 2011-03-01 09:21

      Good observation, props

      xperdt - 2011-03-01 10:14

      lamberd,...janjes,... and earl,.. fight for the same place!!! hahaha

      seeps.mazi - 2011-03-01 11:52

      xperdt you are a douche dude. Clearly you have no understanding of the game of rugby and should perhaps go back to Pretoria West, Have another brandy and beat your wife again..... You're straight up annoying dude and a Chav yob at that too....... Google Chav, it fit's your profile w@nker

      mike - 2011-03-01 20:38

      I have one issue around your statement, its true Lambie is brilliant with ball in hand and running at around and under opposition. I however am not conviced about his vision, the reason I say that is because his out of hand kicking is really poor. Maybe its a execution thing but usually a bad kicking game is either due to bad coaching or poor vision. I hope its either execution or coaching as it would be nice to have a second world class flyhalf able to wear the green and gold.

  • Tokozaan - 2011-03-01 08:47

    Firstly, it's been awhile Secondly, Pat Lambie really is our next fly-half for the springboks He's been reading the game and from the looks of it the end-of-year tour really did him wonders with regarding his kicking All I know is it's good for once to see that we have proper fly-halves that aren't just kicking machines in the bok team, hopefully this year they'll give Morne a rest in the tri-nations and give old Lambie a go as it will good to see our backline players ( Juan De Jong, Jacque Fourie, Lwazi Mvovo, Gerhard Van Der Heever and all those ) finally being able to get the ball and start slicing the defence as we know these players can

      kosie - 2011-03-01 12:31

      agree 100%

      mike - 2011-03-01 20:43

      You would have to change the coach and some of our forwards before we would even try play this type of game plan regardless of who plays flyhalf. I really battle to understand when people think the reason we don't run the ball down the back line is our flyhalfs fault. Its just not Bok rugby, why run the backline when we have the most powerfull forwards in the world, the Aussies and AB's have been trying to force us to stop using our forwards for years and now you wanna just gift it to them.

      Tokozaan - 2011-03-02 12:53

      @Mike Well that is true, we do have the ability to run straight through players now don't we, I mean Willem Alberts, Bakkies, Beast, Bismark, Pierre Spies, the list goes on when it comes to forwards but also listening to the way the new laws are played it seems in a way the old scrumming laws which suited us so well is coming back so I have to say that yes I agree with you but having your forwards play their game and also haaving a flyhalf who's actually able to play 10 man and then full on running rugby would be just as perfect don't you think?

  • StefJo - 2011-03-01 10:49

    Sorry boys, O'Connor gonna run circles around Lambie if given opportunity...

  • Chadwick - 2011-03-01 14:18

    O'Connor is an arrogant prick. I read what he said last year during the Tri-Nations....went something like ", you will see me sprinting through the Springbok defence", like it's sooooo "easy" for him because hes so "good". I cant remember exactly what else he said, but he became big-headed only because we lost horribly to NZ. If we had won that game he would've shut his mouth. Lambie isn't as experienced, but he's unpredictable and he thinks in tight situations. Look at the tri he made against Blues, think it was the 2nd one. That was quick thinking and good ball skills. Lambie, whip this punk.

      Makutu - 2011-03-01 15:25

      He's confident in his abilities. You must also be confident about how you are sitting behind a computer screen and envying people who are proud of their talents. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, O'Connor is just saying what he believes he is good at, and he did run past our defence.

      Hannes Perth - 2011-03-02 06:40

      @Chadwick. Spoke to James O'Connor on Saturday and his feet is (still) firmly on the ground.

  • pages:
  • 1