Pressure mounting on Heyneke
With Johan Goosen out for the season, and based on his Rugby Championship selections, Meyer has only two options left at flyhalf for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere tour: Elton Jantjies and Morne Steyn.
After his form left alot to be desired during the RC, Morne was left to rest and refocus, while Goosen and Jantjies took up the reigns at flyhalf. Last week Morne showed some good form, but last night again, his team’s lack of ability to dominate left him with very little chance to get into any sort of rhythm.
Elton Jantjies’ performance with the boot last night was not enough to give anyone comfort that he will have what it takes on the big stage. Given that it was a crunch game, his lack of conversions shows on a lack of BMT on his part, something that’s been questioned in the past.
So, despite the apparent wealth of flyhalves we thought we had in South Africa, we have an off form player in desperate need of rest and re-focus, an injury prone, talented youngster who is on crutches until next year, and an inexperienced, talented youngster who seems to freeze on the big stage.
But hang on! Who was that curly haired, baby-faced youngster that’s been receiving the man of the match awards at flyhalf for the Sharks the past two weeks? That little flyhalf who has been instrumental in the Sharks two victories the last two weeks? That player who was left sitting on the bench for all but 55 minutes of the entire 480 possible minutes of the tournament? Who was good enough at the age of 20 to play for the Springboks in the World Cup for 320 minutes in 4 matches?
No, not Schalk. The guy handing him off, going in to score a try in the Currie Cup semi finals in 2010. And that at the age of 19…
I’m talking of Patrick Lambie.
This guy is brilliant. He varies his game to such extent that he keeps his opponents guessing. He runs, he kicks into space, he passes, he dummies, and he can kick at goal pretty damn well too. Oh, and he isn’t as injury prone as young Goosen, who really needs to use this off period to strengthen his body.
Hopefully Meyer’s eyes have been opened. Surely by now, if Meyer doesn’t realise that this should be the flyhalf for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere tour, he never will.