Springboks

Butch: Take it easy on Lambie

Pat Lambie (Getty)
Pat Lambie (Getty)

Cape Town - Given a rare opportunity in the No 10 jersey at Test level on Saturday, Patrick Lambie did little to convince coach Allister Coetzee - or anyone else - that he is the man to be entrusted with the Springbok flyhalf position moving forward. 

Lambie started brightly with a penalty and a left-footed drop goal to give the Boks a 6-0 lead against England at Twickenham, but the Bok performance as a whole that followed meant there was very little to celebrate anywhere on the field.  

Lambie was replaced by Johan Goosen after 54 minutes in what ended up being a 37-21 loss for the Boks, and after the match there were some suggestions from the SuperSport pundits in studio that Lambie had played "too deep" on attack. 

But 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Butch James said he felt "a little bit sorry" for Lambie.

"It all comes from the forwards," James explained.

"If you get that momentum from the forwards then (scrumhalf) Rudy (Paige) is able to get that ball cleared quickly, Pat (Lambie) is able to take it nice and flat and in their faces.

"But if we’re not going forward and we’re stopped … the slower the ball the more further back you’ll find a flyhalf going.

"You’ve got to feel for Pat today.

"I think we didn’t get that momentum that England got with (Billy) Vunipola getting over the advantage line every time. Then it’s easy for guys like (George) Ford (flyhalf) to play."

Lambie has 54 Test caps to his name, but just 11 starts at flyhalf.

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