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    Sharks miss Lambie 'terribly'

    2016-07-08 13:00
    Pat Lambie kicks a penalty at the rain-drenched Kings Park against the Lions. (Gallo)

    Cape Town - The Sharks will go into Saturday's crucial Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs in Durban without flyhalf Pat Lambie once again, but coach Gary Gold has stressed that the health of his captain is more important than anything else. 

    Lambie has been sidelined with a concussion since June 11 when he was knocked out cold by CJ Stander in the first Test between the Springboks and Ireland in Cape Town. 

    That robbed Lambie of the chance to make the No 10 jersey his own in the absence of regular first-choice flyhalf Handre Pollard, while it is also cost the Sharks their playmaker as Super Rugby reaches its business end. 

    Lambie had already missed most of the Super Rugby season with a shoulder injury, and that combined with the fact that he missed the second half of last year's tournament with a neck injury means that the last two seasons have been incredibly frustrating for the 25-year-old. 

    That neck injury meant that Lambie struggled with his 2015 World Cup preparations, and as a result he was unable to put any real pressure on Pollard for a starting place.

    Now he is sidelined once more.

    "Luckily he’s a very strong character and he’s got a very strong mind as well," Gold said of Lambie.

    "It’s disappointing. We’ve seen the stories and read the stories of the disappointments a Jean de Villiers has had in his career, but he was resilient and ended on a high as a great Springbok.

    "Patrick is just having a little bit of a run at the moment, and the same could be said of a guy like Cobus (Reinach). (They are) Great players, great human beings but they’re just having a tough time at the moment."

    Gold emphasised that Lambie's health was the most important thing right now.

    "We miss him terribly at the moment, but from our point of view as the family, we’ve got to support him," said Gold.

    "His health is the most important thing at the moment. It’s pretty well documented, all of the stuff about concussion, so our priority is letting Patrick get better as quickly as possible.

    "As soon as he’s back and symptom free he’ll be welcomed back with open arms. He’s still got a lot of years to play. This should hopefully be a speed-bump at the moment."

    Garth April will start at flyhalf on Saturday.

    Teams:

    Sharks

    15. Rhyno Smith, 14. S'bura Sithole, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Garth April, 9. Michael Claassens, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira (captain)

    Substitutes: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Ruan Botha, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. Curwin Bosch

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche

    Substitutes:16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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