Lambie stoops to conquer

2011-09-16 00:00

PAT Lambie is an ankle man. The Sharks and Springbok fullback admits that he ignores heaving chests and thumping thighs and looks only at the ankles.

That, he says, is the secret to his defensive technique.

Lambie, named at fullback for the Springboks’ second Rugby World Cup outing tomorrow, will face massive Fijians who are built like brick outhouses and enjoy running round, over and through defenders.

“It won’t be a problem,” was his response when asked how he will meet the challenge.

“I’ve always believed that everyone’s ankles are the same size and that is where I will be aiming my tackles.”

And it certainly has worked so far. From the moment he was rushed into the Sharks team as a 19-year-old, first at fullback, then inside centre and finally at flyhalf, Lambie has kept making his tackles, in classic fashion, low and around the ankles.

It was his tackling which first impressed Sharks coach John Plumtree early in his career.

“Pat is an excellent defender, brave and accurate in his tackling,” says Plumtree.

But then the former Michaelhouse head boy has met every challenge in his short life, on and off the field, and done everything by the book.

Lambie is modest and well-spoken with his feet firmly on the ground. His captain leads the praise-singers.

“He is an amazing young man,” John Smit said of him. “If you had an 18-year-old daughter, the only rugby player you would allow to take her out would be Patrick Lambie.

“He is a very polite, well-mannered and intelligent young man. As a rugby player, even at the age of 20, he commands his position be it at 10, 12 or 15. He has composure way beyond his years.

“He will be around for a long time, and as quiet as he is, he has strong potential for leadership,” Smit added.

Lambie, with his direct running and ability to play on the advantage line, will add to the Springboks’ attacking potential tomorrow and he could switch with Morne Steyn at flyhalf on attack.

At 1,77 metres, Lambie is relatively short, but he is sturdy, weighing 92 kg, and he is strong on his feet with a powerful hand-off — just ask Schalk Burger.

This will be Lambie’s second start for the Springboks at fullback after his first appearance was prematurely ended by injury in the opening quarter of the Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth last month.

The pressure does not concern him. “I’ve slept really well since I heard I was in [the team],” he said.

He also does not echo the concerns of many critics that his versatility will count against him.

“I’m just happy to play 15, 12 or 10 — wherever the coach wants me.

“But when I wear the No. 15 on my back, that is the position that I play, and when I’m wearing the flyhalf jersey that is the position that I play,” he said yesterday.

Lambie, at the end of last year, said his goal was to play in the Rugby World Cup.

“I’d like to play well enough to earn my selection into the Springbok squad and play in the World Cup.”

Lambie has now realised his dream and, for goodness sake, he is only 20.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.