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ABF for Lambie?

November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Bok EOYT has primarily been used as a trial for Pat Lambie to show that he has what it takes to be a Bok #10. After failing quite spectacularly in the first two tests to play to Heyneke Meyer’s preferred kick and chase game plan he is now, according to news reports, given the opportunity to play his natural game against the English.

And the time has come for the youngster “to put up or shut up”.

For the first time in his senior career Pat Lambie has been playing under real pressure. Oh, I know he has played in tight matches and in pressure situations on the field, but he has had an easy run off the field throughout his career.

When he started playing senior rugby he was immediately ensconced as the Sharks’ blue eyed boy and was always assured of game time, hero worship and blind devotion. Even after poor performances he was above criticism amongst Sharks supporters and the media. Any criticism, however mild, was immediately met with a barrage of scorn, abuse and excuses. On Sharksworld, the Sharks fan site, any criticism of Lambie might very well lead to a ban from the forum.

For three years he has been above criticism but now suddenly, on this EOYT, the youngster was asked to prove himself and he has been given ample opportunity to do so as the other two flyhalves were relegated to holding tackle bags.

This year must have been a very difficult year for the youngster. This is probably the first time in his life that he is not the coach’s favourite. Where, under Peter de Villiers, he was always assured of sufficient game time, either off the bench or with the occasional start, under Heyneke Meyer he picked up more splinters off the bench than kicking tees off the park.

Until this EOYT that is.

During the first two tests he seemed uncertain and withdrawn, never really grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and stamping his authority on the game. He just cannot afford to do the same against England if he hopes to remain in contention for the Bok #10 spot and it will do no good afterwards for people to blame the game plan, Ruan Pienaar not passing or Jean de Villiers killing the ball.

It is all up to Pat Lambie. It is his time to shine or to go down in flames.

19 responses to ABF for Lambie?

  1. I’m somewhat of die-hard Lambie supporter and I have to admit, that he really hasn’t been up to his own high standards. I still think that he might be our answer at flyhalf, but then he really has to play his “own unique” brand of rugby and not according to the Meyer-Steyn paradigm. Let’s hope he finds his form very quickly…

  2. Careful Baylion, you might create the impression that you don’t like Lambie very much… ;)

    • Don’t know why anyone would think that. But one cannot keep on making excuses for him, he’s going into his 20th test FFS

  3. I agree with your posts. The whole Lambie situation have been irritating me for some time now. The times that he doesn’t perform have been either put down to the fact that he just came back from injury or the coach gets blamed or something like that, but never does Lambie’s own ability to handle the pressure gets questioned.

    If you want to play at flyhalf for South Africa, you have to be able to handle the pressure that comes with the territory. Steyn was able to do it in 2009 and for some time after that. Since then, nobody have been able to cope with it.

    Lambie’s gloryboy status will not last for much longer and he’ll have to come up with the goods sooner or later or face being called an idiot, shitface or some other insult that has nothing to do with the way he plays like some of the retards with an internet connection and a pc did to Steyn.

  4. Well let’s wait and see but I don’t have good feelings about it. I reas somewhere in a blog stats about balls played by 9 and 10 with the conclusion that 10 gets too few balls.
    The truth is though that in Ireland in the first half Lambie was given more balls but he was very poor . In the second half SA changed the plan and gave playmaking to the best player on the field- Ruan . Ruan skipped Lambie and In effect the game was won. And this is not my own conclusion ( before you jump on me) but Irish and English pundits ( Will Greenwood among them ) . They all thought Lambie was poor and hailed Ruan. In Scotland Lambie was poor again but was given more ball and what? He kicked hopelss up and unders and his kick on line were 10 metres or so? Defeat was despite of lambie not becuse of him. I,m afraid that England is happy to hear that Lambie is given more freedom that means more balls.

  5. Sheriffff, I think it’s fair that Lambie is being given this last test to prove himself, he has proven he can’t play HM’s vision of a perfect flyhalf, and no one is blaming him for that you can’t expect a guy to deviate so far from is natural game.
    BUT even when the bok pack had dominance his performances have been very average bordering on poor.
    I believe HM is trying to kill 2 birds with one Test here, he knows Lambies confidence is at an all time low, and he is now under a lot of pressure to have a good game of rugby, if he doesn’t Elton will come on with 20mins left, and SA under pressure (fly halfs can’t do much with 30% possesion). If we lose HM will be justified in dropping both Lambie & Elton, and even if we scrape a win HM will drop Lambie saying he hasn’t performed well & drop Elton because he didnt make enough fo an impact. This will allow him to immediatley install Goosen and Steyn his favourite fly halfs.

    • Well from now to June next year is a long long time.

      Next seasons boks will be picked on S15 form and not really what happens in this test.

      If Morne again have a poor S15 HM can’t include him anymore. Same goes for Lambie and Jantjies.

      • True. We might also see some players rested during the June tests as we face “easy” competition in Italy, Samoa and Scotland (who might lose a few players to the B&I Lions)

  6. Interesting comment from Jean de Villiers in the Q&A session:

    Hi Jean

    Thanks for this upportunity and well done on a succesfull tour so far! My one question is, with 4 different flyhalves in the springbok games this year, do they all get to play their own game in the overall game plan or are they told to play in a certain way regardless?

    Good luck with England!
    Jean de Villiers answered:
    Thanks for the support Pieter. To use the Afrikaans saying – “ons sal nooit iemand in ‘n blik druk nie” – we will always allow our players to follow their heads. Everyone involved knows what we want to achieve and how we want to do that.

    • See how biased you are? How many times have you said “don’t always believe what they say to the media and the public”

      Lambie was not playing his natural game, it was obvious

      • JdV said that, not me. This was in a Q&A session where JdV answered Supersport readers’ emailed questions. In my post I specifically said that Lambie must make use of the opportunity now presented to him. How is that biased?

  7. In a way Lambie has nothing to loose. He knows he is not HM favorite, Goosen is, so he can just go out and play.

    If he screws up well then he has the whole S15 season next year to make up for it and he can’t be treated worse than he was during the Castle Rugby Championship.

    But if he has a brilliant game and finally give the wings some ball he could really up his ranking points in the Bok ladder.

    So in a way he really do have nothing to loose, OK maybe a test against England but thats all. :)

  8. Look we all should be happy that HM has publicly stated that he wants Lambie to play his natural game and that Lambie is under no instruction to kick the ball all the time.

    Thing is this put a lot of pressure on the young lad. Basically HM has washed his hands of the whole Lambie situation.
    If Lambie fails HM will bare no fault.

    In a way I can’t blame HM he has been getting a lot of stick for his GP and coaching. Players like Lambie had a free ride and if they did not preform it is HM fault. Which is also not right.

    So now it is all down to Lambie himself. If he do not preform then it is his own inability and no one else’s fault.

    I am just worried that putting so much pressure on him won’t be good for him.
    But then he wants to be the Bok flyhalf so he should be able to bare te responsibility.

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