Lambie back in the swim

2012-10-10 00:00

PAT Lambie’s sabbatical is over and coach John Plumtree said he is looking forward to seeing his flyhalf returning to action for the Sharks against Griquas in the Currie Cup outing at King’s Park on Friday night.

Lambie has been largely ignored by coach Heyneke Meyer as the Springboks have travelled the world to play six Rugby Championship Tests over the past two months. The 21-year-old has made only fleeting appearances off the bench and has had less than an hour’s rugby since the Super Rugby final on August 4.

But those days are behind him and Plumtree said yesterday that Lambie would be “a key player” for the Sharks in the remaining weeks of the Currie Cup competition.

“Pat is really keen to play and it’s great for him,” said Plumtree.

“He’s done a lot of training and kicking in preparation.

“I’m hoping it all goes well with him and we’re looking forward to what he can offer us. He’ll be looking forward to a full game.”

Plumtree will name his match squad today and it is likely that Lambie will be at flyhalf with the unlucky Meyer Bosman — who has played consistently well in recent months — dropping to the bench.

The alternative is to field Lambie at fullback, but Louis Ludik has been in excellent form and he is unlikely to be switched to the wing where there is already intense competition between Springboks JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane.

Ironically, Plumtree was yesterday more concerned about his weary Sharks players than those returning from Springbok duty.

“We have looked at the different situations of every individual player.

“Obviously we have some who have played more than others and carried a heavy workload. Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel, our two props [Dale Chadwick and Wiehahn Herbst] have played 10 games in a row.

“We have had long conversations with our seven Springboks and we’ll see how everyone is.

“We have to make sure we do what’s best for the team.”

Pieter Dixon has been ruled out for the season with a broken arm, but Plumtree has Craig Burden and Kyle Cooper to cover the hooking position.

He said that the Sharks had a few niggles, with captain Keegan Daniel struggling with a knee injury, Steven Skyes troubled by a sore calf muscle and Cooper down with flu. But he said gaining Bok reinforcements in the final weeks was a major boost.

“Having JP [Pietersen] back was massive for us last week in Bloemfontein and getting some of that experience back at this crucial time is fantastic,” he added.

He said that the Sharks were well-placed with a two-point cushion at the top of the log with one round remaining.

“We’ve already secured a home semi which is great, but we know how tough Griquas are. They’ve knocked off almost every side this year.

“In the past we haven’t had too much problem with them in this fixture in Durban, but these Griquas have more to them than their sides in the past, so we have a lot of respect for them.

“We have to make sure that this weekend we earn the opportunity to host the final. If we don’t win this game, then we could be travelling away to play the final and we don’t want that. We want to stay at home so there is plenty at stake.”

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm and Jaco Peyper will be the referee.

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