Why Zane is favoured over Lambie
With Ruan Pienaar saying Lambie should decide where he wants to play, I again wondered about the argument between who is better for the Bok side, Lambie or Kirchner.
To the naked eye, Lambie is clearly the better player, being able to play at flyhalf, inside centre and full back. Many say this is his downfall, the fact that he is so versatile, yet to me that is actually a strength. Players like Stephen Larkham, Berrick Barnes, Matt Giteau, Stirling Mortlock and even Dan Carter have played in various positions throughout their careers and it made them better players overall.
It’s not to say that Lambie should be used intermittently throughout all those positions at the Springboks though. But he can progress from full back to flyhalf in his career, that’s if Goosen and Jantjies cannot step up to the plate in the longer term.
In comparison we have Zane Kirchner. One dimensional as you get as a rugby player, and although he does his job on the field, he doesn’t add anything beyond what we expect him to deliver. In fact, not much can be written about his play, other than his ability to catch the ball, tackle the opposition, and finish off try opportunities on the try line. He hardly creates anything, ever.
So it is as clear as a Bryce Lawrence decision as to why Kirchner is favored over Lambie. The Bulls bias theory has been blown to shatters with Meyer picking only 3 Bulls in the last test match, so Meyer for some reason clearly favours Kirchner over Lambie.
The “unofficial” quota system theory has also reared its head by some suggesting it in the media, although not forthright, but then one should question why, when the opportunity was there, De Jongh was not picked to partner Jean de Villiers, and why Hougaard was persisted with while we had Aplon playing Currie Cup. Both players would fill the required “quota” although would hardly be regarded as quota players as in my opinion, they are more experienced and quality players than Taute and Hougaard.
Looking at Zane and Pat’s attributes, only one thing shows why Kirchner is favoured:
|Height||177 Cm||184 Cm|
|Weight||87 Kg||92 Kg|
|Birth Date||17 October 1990||16 June 1984|
|Test Debut||6 November 2010 Vs Ireland In Dublin Aged 20||4 July 2009 Vs British & Irish Lions In Johannesburg Aged 25|
|Honors:||SA Schools – 2007
SA Schools – 2008
IRB Junior World Championships – 2010
|Emerging Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions – 2009 (After Test Debut)|
Everything shows in Lambie’s favour. Yes, Zane has scored more tries, in his career and played more tests in his career (mostly because Lambie was sidelined most of the year), but Lambie has scored more points overall, double in fact that of Kirchner, and his played his Rugby at all levels from junior to senior level. Lambie at 22 next week, is also relatively younger than Kirchner who turned 28 this year, so his prospects for the future is mouth watering!
But Kirchner is 7 cm’s taller than Lambie and 5 Kg’s heavier.
And knowing Meyer’s excitement over size, it seems it really is all that matters to him. Not brains. Not X-Factor. Not versatility. Not the ability to create something from nothing. Nope. Size.
How much 7 cm’s and 5Kg’s in the backline really matters, I don’t know. But to me it hardly makes the difference. Little Elton Jantjies this weekend made a perfect tackle on Ma’a Nonu by just grabbing his ankles. So does size really matter in the backline?
Ruan says Lambie is smart, and we all know that, and that he will probably make the right decision. If Lambie wants to continue playing for the Springboks, he surely knows he is far behind in the pecking order when it comes to Flyhalf. With Johan Goosen the man who has his placed booked, bar some injury concerns, and Elton leapfrogging Lambie to the vacant substitute spot, and Morne set to make his return in the Northern Hemisphere with Goosen now injured (again), there surely is just one spot he can fit in, and that is full back.
He cannot bargain on Goosen being sidelined to injury for ever, and Elton will be favour ahead of him no matter what form Lambie shows at flyhalf. But he will always remain second choice as long as Goosen is around anyways. With Kirchner ageing, and being one dimensional, Lambie can make the nr 15 jersey his own.