Smit rests as Lambie debuts

2010-03-19 00:00

THE 19-year-old Pat Lambie will make his Super 14 debut for the Sharks in tomorrow’s outing against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Lambie, a prolific goal-kicker and a consistently impressive performer for the Sharks U21 side last year, will take over from Stefan Terblanche, who is 15 years his senior, at fullback. Terblanche shifts to the wing — where he earned 37 caps for the Boks — and replaces the injured Odwa Ndungane.

The stocky 92 kg Lambie is a product of Michaelhouse and made his Currie Cup debut for the Sharks against Griquas last year.

Head coach John Plumtree, for the first time this season, will not start with his Springbok captain John Smit, who has his break after five games. The Du Plessis brothers, tighthead Jannie and hooker Bismarck, will start with Beast Mtawarira in the front-row.

In the other changes to the pack, flank Deysel returns for Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel rotates with Jacques Botes on the flank.

Smit will cover both props from the bench with Craig Burden the reserve hooker.

The Highlanders will have three of their key players, All Blacks Adam Thomson and scrumhalf and captain Jimmy Cowan, and inside centre Michael Hobbs back for the game.

Thomson and Hobbs return from internal suspension after missing a curfew, while Cowan also missed the Bulls game after dislocating a finger.

Highlanders coach Glenn Moore has made a massive nine changes to the team that scored five tries but still lost to the Bulls 50-35 last Saturday.

There are five changes in the forward pack and three in the inside backs, where captain Jimmy Cowan returns at halfback in place of Sean Romans after recovering from a dislocated finger.

Hobbs, who has played well at flyhalf, returns at inside centre for Jason Shoemark with young Robbie Robinson starting for the first time at flyhalf. Cowans is back at scrumhalf for Sean Romans and James Paterson takes over the left wing from Fetu’u Vainikolo.

A revamped pack has five changes. Tom Donnelly, who played lock for the All Blacks last year, has an ankle injury and is replaced by Hayden Triggs. Number eight Thomson, flank John Hardie, prop Clint Newland and hooker Jason Rutledge replace Steven Setephano, Tim Boys, Chris King and Jason MacDonald.

Jamie Mackintosh, who led the Highlanders against the Bulls, said a win over the Sharks could turn their season: “Look at who we have played — the Blues, Crusaders, Stormers and Bulls — they are four of the top sides who are going to be right up there in the competition and we’ve played them all in the first five rounds.

“The guys are excited to be home and it’s like we are now starting the second lap of the competition.”

The Sharks have been spending the week preparing in Queenstown — while the Highlanders were trekking back from Pretoria — before travelling to Dunedin today.

The Sharks have again drawn the short straw with the appointment of the referee and New Zealander — Jonathon White will handle the game. This is the fourth time in six games that a referee from the reserve (rather than the merit) panel will take charge of their game and White will be making his Super 14 debut.

The match kicks off at 8.35 am (SA time) tomorrow.

TEAMS

Sharks

Patrick Lambie, Stefan Terblanche, Adrian Jacobs, Riaan Swanepoel, JP Pietersen, Andy Goode, Ruan Pienaar, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel, Johann Muller (capt), Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements:

Craig Burden, John Smit, Alistair Hargreaves, Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Rory Kockott, Waylon Murray.

Highlanders

Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Kenny Lynn, Michael Hobbs, James Paterson, Robbie Robinson, Jimmy Cowan (captain), Adam Thomson, Alando Soakai, John Hardie, Hayden Triggs, Josh Bekhuis, Clint Newland, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh.

Replacements: Jason Macdonald, Chris King, Joe Tuineau, Tim Boys/Steven Setephano, Sean Romans, Jayden Hayward, Fetu’u Vainikolo.

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