Lambie to stake No 15 claim?

2011-08-16 08:56

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Johannesburg - With Frans Steyn ruled out of Saturday’s final Castle Tri-Nations engagement with New Zealand, it seems Patrick Lambie might well get an opportunity to stake a claim to be the starting fullback at the Rugby World Cup.

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Lambie was called up on Sunday as cover for Steyn, with the Racing Metro utility back being officially ruled out of the match against the All Blacks at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Monday.

Although Gio Aplon came on as the replacement fullback against Australia last week, it was Lambie who did the most running in the Bok last line of defence in the first training session of the week on Monday.

It was noticeable that the Wallabies increased the number of kicks in the direction of fullback when Aplon was on the field in Durban, although the change of Wallaby tactics to a more kicking orientated approach was noticeable even before the Stormers player came onto the field, with the rain that fell in the second half making it the sensible option.

Aplon did fumble once or twice and also knocked one of the kicks on, but if Lambie is thrust into the starting lineup for the All Black fixture it need not necessarily be down to a failure on the part of Aplon, who was in the 22 as cover for both fullback and wing. While he did not include Lambie in the initial squad of 24 named for the Tri-Nations, coach Peter de Villiers does have a high regard for the Sharks player and what he can do.

It may well be that De Villiers just wants to see the X-factor that Lambie can bring from fullback (he has started as a flyhalf already in the Tri-Nations), and the coach hasn’t made any secret that he is regarding the Tri-Nations games as build-up and experimental opportunities for the World Cup rather than games that have to be won at all cost.

Although Steyn has only been ruled out for the All Black test, there must be some doubt about how quickly he will recover from his hamstring injury. And even if he does, he didn’t exactly take the opportunity presented to him in Durban with both hands, and it has been a while now since he has really shone in the Bok jersey.

He has long been a part of the Bok World Cup plans, but a solid showing from Lambie, if he plays, could just swing the opinion on who should wear the No 15. Of course, regardless of what happens on Saturday, Aplon, who did start the first overseas game against Australia before featuring in this last match, will be strongly in the picture, with Steyn possibly coming into the reckoning for a start at inside centre, which was where he played in the last World Cup.

The team for Saturday is to be announced on Tuesday, and the final opportunity that is being presented for experimentation could see a few changes made. Apart from fullback, where the coach’s hand is anyway forced by injury, De Villiers long ago made it known that he was going to start Bismarck du Plessis in this match.

“It was decided as long ago as in our planning meeting in May that John (Smit) would play three successive matches and that Bismarck would then start the next game,” said De Villiers.

Two further players who might be given a chance to start at the weekend are loosehead prop Gurthro Steenkamp, who looked like he needed match practice in his short stint on the field in Durban, and Willem Alberts. The latter could well start for Danie Rossouw, who like Smit has played all three Tri-Nations matches thus far.

Juan Smith, out with an Achilles injury since the early part of the season, will get a chance to prove his fitness by being made available to play for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup this weekend.


  • swatcoloured - 2011-08-16 09:32

    good choice at full back go Lambie

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-16 09:36

      I agree, he plays very well at fullback.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-16 10:21

      Who let the dogs out?

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-16 11:55

      Dozer?? You ok? What are you on about?

      roboman1 - 2011-08-16 11:57

      at last, Lambie is a good fullback, right now that is the better spot for him to play in, as he is not a mature flyhalf yet, even the Sharks do not pick him as first choice flyhalf. At full he has strengths and will be solid, his defense is good

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-08-16 12:20

      One match before the World Cup......and the idiot is still experimenting!!!!!?

  • flowing river - 2011-08-16 09:40

    Its gonna be like leading Lambs to the slaughter ! He He He!

      Skiballas - 2011-08-16 11:59

      oooh jeee whizzzz, havent read that one before....NOT!

  • jochem - 2011-08-16 09:44

    Lambie at No 15 is the best choice; Steenkamp is a weakness (saw it on Saturday); if they keep it tight, Alberts is not a bad choice, but will be exposed if the ABs stretch the game. Also dump Habana (just can't drop his stupid old tricks) and play Aplon instead.

  • Sparky - 2011-08-16 09:51

    Lambie At flyhalf with Hougaard at scrumhalf.... Second half. Our backline will get the ball.

      CalamitySA - 2011-08-16 10:53

      Play Lambie at no 10 and KEEP him there for 5 years - Do NOT do to him what they've done to other GOOD flyhalves with speed and better abilities than a lot of KICKERS!!!

      roboman1 - 2011-08-16 12:01

      Lambie is not the best Number 10 even for the sharks so why you suddenly playing him there for the Springboks. Play him at 10 when he matures a bit. He is a fine talent, but is still work in progress. Flyhalf is either Butch or Morne, they have proved themselves there

  • BB - 2011-08-16 09:52

    Good Choice! Go Bokke!!

  • wpmannetjie - 2011-08-16 09:56

    Habana must leave his rush defence and stick to his man they run around him time and again ,they all worked him out and that is a problem that PDV must sort out fast ..... Drop him move Jaque Fourie to wing bring Juan De Jonge with Jean de Villiers solid defence out wide and good attack in the middel

      Ricky - 2011-08-16 10:16

      I disagree Jaque Fourie is wasted on the wing he is a brilliant centre and solid on defense

      Sharkbite - 2011-08-16 10:30

      I wouldn't split Fourie and de Villiers, splitting them would weaken our center combination, even though I rate Juan very highly. JP is probably the best defensive wing we have in SA, I rate Mvovo but not sure if he's as strong defensively. But I think right now he's probably better than Habana. He's definitely MUCH faster!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-16 10:41

      Sharkbite, Sonny Bill are going to split them on Saturday.

      Sharkbite - 2011-08-16 11:12

      Bulldozer, I don't think he'll get past Butch. Did you see that man on defense on Saturday, he was lethal (yes, sometimes bordering on dangerous), but he is what we've been lacking in our midfield.

      Red Zar - 2011-08-16 11:37

      Bulldozer, would like to see SBW up against Frans Steyn at center... He'll be too solid for ur Sonny

      Sharkbite - 2011-08-16 14:13

      Bulldozer, now SBW is going to run through our midfield, Morne Steyn has been selected.

  • StBad - 2011-08-16 10:02

    Lambie to the rescue again? If Aplon was cover last week then why isn't he first choice this week? The coaches make zero sense!

      Raka13 - 2011-08-16 12:07 must have sense to display sense

  • Zullie - 2011-08-16 10:23

    How's this - 15 Lambie, 14 Pietersen, 13 Fourie, 12 DeVilliers, 11 Mvovo, 10 James, 9 DuPreez, 8 Spies, 7 Alberts, 6 Brussouw, 5 Matfield, 4 Botha, 3 J DuPlessis, 2 B DuPlessis, 1 Mtawarira. Bench - 16 Ralepele, 17 vd Linde, 18 Roussouw, 19 Burger, 20 Hougaard, 21 Habana, 22 M Steyn. Any comments?

      BardofAvon - 2011-08-16 10:45

      Good composition, Zullie. However: You need a place kicker that can perform under pressure. Think of the British Lions tour, in which Morne Steyn saved SA's (and the coach's) lives with that 53m do-or-.die penalty. Bruce James and Bambi are not in Morne's league when it comes to that. So, Steyn for #10. Div knows that, though, and he is just appeasing the "creatives" with his Bruce James flirtation.

      Sharkbite - 2011-08-16 10:47

      That is almost exactly the team I would pick! Du Preez's really been off his game, but the back line did actually get the ball with Du Preez's pairing with Butch, their distribution was good, so I think they should have another game together. And I firmly believed that Spies didn't deserve his spot in the starting team, till Saturday when he had the best game of his career. This is probably the best team we can field right now, the loose trio is a perfect combination of strength, fast running and criminal stealing abilities, and the back line is potent when they receive the ball, which they will with a less kicking orientated game. Looks very good.

      Tools1 - 2011-08-16 11:03

      Watched super rugby on kyk net last night and they highlighted some footage of the backline play and it was incredible to see how few times the ball made it past Jean. He is not deap enough and as a result the ball dies with him. We have very dangerous outside backs ....but without the ball they are useless. Im sure AB will also expose this lets hope Naas Botha send Pdv an SMS

      Stryder - 2011-08-16 11:20

      1005 Zullie, love the back line. @BardofAvon, Steyn is not the answer. He is static and predictable. Between Butch and Lambie there is plenty of kicking talent.

      Zorro - 2011-08-16 11:27

      Not bad but my team will look like this IF all is fit and able to play: 15. Lambie 14. Pietersen 13. Fourie 12. Frans Steyn 11. Mvovo 10. Morne Steyn 9. Hougaard 8. Alberts 7. Burger 6. Brussouw 5. Mostert 4. Botha 3. J du Plessis 2. B du Plessis 1. Mtawarira 16. J Smit 17. vd Linde 18. Juan Smit 19. Roussouw 20. du Preez 21. Aplon 22. Pienaar

      Totman - 2011-08-16 12:02

      @Tools. I think it was Ashwin that pointed that out and I agree with you. He expressed him strongly on that. He was also against the A team staying at home from the begin. He said that the combinations are not secure yet and they must all play to work it out before having the luxury of letting some "injured" players stay at home. At that time, when he said it, I was frowning because I thought maybe it was an good idea, but it seams to me Ashwin was right again. Naas's point of these useless kicks also made sense. @Zullie. Not a bad team!

      Totman - 2011-08-16 12:08

      Sorry Zullie. I mend to put a ? behind J DeV name. Just wondering if he is not a major problem, but as the WP people will tell you he only have to make one good movement to be in a team till retirement. ;-)

      wpmannetjie - 2011-08-16 12:24

      Good team like butch at 10 ,please not morne ,otherwise good i think

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-08-16 13:03

      @Tools - for that reason I think we should drop Jean to the bench and move Butch to first center making space for either Morne at Lambie at 10. Jean has not been on good form for the past year or more.

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-08-16 10:31

    Obviously ANY team will increase kicking to Aplon if they are in a position to chase. Yes he is elusive and fast but the opposition also know that IF they get to him turnover is very likely. Very talented bloke, we all admit it, but just too damn small.

  • pappavyf - 2011-08-16 10:32

    Good news, as long as it is not Morne Steyn. He is just crap!!

  • BardofAvon - 2011-08-16 10:34

    Yes. Great fullbacks are made, not born. Percey Montgomery and Andre Joubert are two cases in point.

  • CalamitySA - 2011-08-16 10:58

    Keep Lambie at nr 10 and leave him there for 10 years. All this flyhalves with NO running abilities - only kicking and slower than the front-rankers - should be prohibited to play rugby. Remember Colin Beck - he was totally wasted - could have been best nr 10 ever

  • Avi27 - 2011-08-16 11:25

    Div I hope the message gets to you somehow, at the momment you don't have many friends on your side (Majority of the public). You need to talk less and concentrate on what you are suppose to do and win games. You need to show some b@LLs and make some tuff decisions. You need to make sure that when you pick the WC squad you don't take too many guys that are past their sell buy (esp Dannie-too slow as a loose and probably cost us the game). if you taking Smith he has to play of the bench, Bismark has to start. Frans Steyn may put on some wight but the game we plan to play we need him to kick in the opponents half and keep them their. WC's are won win the team that has the best balance of experience and youth (Eng last WC couldn't denfend the cup bcos they took at team that was relatively much more older than us) Pat Lambie needs to be drafted in some how. He may be young but he is exceptionaly talented just like how Frans was in the the last WC and we need young legs. Maybe we should play him at centre and he can switch with butch on attack. Please take note div, taking to many of your old faithfuls is going to make things very hard as: 1. They rusty 2. Can't last for more than 60min 3. On avg are much slower than Aus and AB's Winning receipe assuming we build and iron out the problems and get out the group stage: Beast, Bismark, Jannie, Bakkies and Victor, Brossow,Juan Smith, Schalk, FdP, Butch, Lwazi, Pat and JF, JP, Frans Smith,Guthrow,Alberts,Deysel,Ruan,Habana,JdeV

  • Jacques - 2011-08-16 11:44

    Frans Steyn stats showed that he weighed in on 110kg. This is about 15kg overweight for him - worse than January! Did the condition coach not pick up on this or could he just not wean Frans of the Fritos?

  • kurtvs - 2011-08-16 11:45

    I would like you to select a lily white side for this test as you are going to get thumped in any event, at least in this way the sport 24 journalist and the lighter hue rugby public won’t have any players of colour to blame. Now that Ricky has left they are looking for other scapegoats so obviously next in line would be Brian, Goo and JP. You have in any event failed miserably to give fair opportunities to a whole bunch of other players of colour. It is inevitable that the face of rugby in this country will change just like the NP thought that they will rule forever and that the ANC terrorist will never set foot in SA this basically same scenario.

      Sharkbite - 2011-08-16 11:52

      You are very obviously just looking for attention. None of the comments above are in any way based on race. JP is the best wing we have, followed by Mvovo, and Beast is a legend. Take your opinions to a Malema thread where there cannot be a discussion without bringing race into it. This is not the right thread for you.

  • Boxxer - 2011-08-16 12:06

    An interesting observation when Morne Steyn played fullback during the Australasian tour is after kicking off he immediately ran forward and quickly realised he was given the number 15 jersey, stopped and reversed back. My point and opinion is playing players out of position all the time is perhaps not such a good idea and could disrupt an entire teams structure if you have been playing the entire season at one position. If you need a number 15, use a number 15, not a number 10. Thoughts?

      Totman - 2011-08-16 12:12

      I also saw that and I agree, but maybe with FS it will be a bit different. He know the position as well and are more familiar/use to it than MS.

  • amaru shakur - 2011-08-16 12:28

    .... and then they wonder why we rather support the All Blacks. If Gio is the no. 2 full back then its only logical that he becomes 1st choice due to the injury to Steyn. I feel sorry for Lambie, his going to be turned into a shifting spanner just like Raun Pienaar. His the future flyhalf for SA and thats the only position he should be played in.

  • Dev and Ilze Britton - 2011-08-17 07:49

    Lambie is just too talented to waste at Fullback. His gift is the amount of time he seems to have whenever he has the ball and his descision making is out of the top drawer. I honestly would have Lambie at either Flyhalf in place of puke-useless Morne Steyn or at 12 with someone like de Jongh outside him. He has the talent and the ability to marshall the Springbok backline and bring them back up to the top...which he cannot do from Fullback!!!

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