Richard Ferguson

The cup runneth over…

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby, WP on 14 Sep 2011 at 14:15
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The flyhalf talent pool in South Africa has never been the first thing you think about in SA Rugby, with our two World Cup winning flyhalves never really hitting legend status, and nobody inbetween really standing out. But things sure look different now…

Suddenly, South African rugby is blessed with many talented youngsters, all who can be the next true legend in the game. The problem with all this talent though is that somebody will be left out.

Think about life in four years, and lets say all these youngsters stay fit and get decent game time, our choice of flyhalf for the next World Cup will come from this pool of players: Demetri Catrakilis, Sias Ebersohn, Johan Goosen, Elton Jantjies and Patrick Lambie.

At this stage, it is only the pair of Cheetahs that will have to play against each other the flyhalf jersey, but amongst the others, the only flyhalf that I think will have a problem is Catrakilis, when all his injured Western Province buddies return. Surely though, the kid has done enough to warrant a spot in the SupeRugby lineup, unless that is reserved for Peter Grant?

The Lions have made their intentions clear, dropping Burton Francis at the drop of a hat to play Elton, and just look how well the kid has done. He has commanded a backline, albeit only in Currie Cup rugby, but I can promise you he will do pretty much the same in SupeRugby as well.

The problem I see, is that from this group of 5 players, there is only one flyhalf starting jersey, and only bench spot, and you almost never see a out and out flyhalf sitting on the bench anyway. So what is going to happen to try and make space for all this talent?

I know I am jumping the gun a bit with what is being said, and some of these ‘talents’ could well bomb out in SupeRugby and fall out of contention anyway, but what if they don’t? Are we going to start shifting Lambie to fullback or Sias to inside centre? Let’s hope this does not happen, and that there will be a good competition amongst these guys for that one and only spot, to keep them on their toes and at their best.


  • Sad thing is Lambie might find himself on the bench in 4 years because he can play 3 positions. Let’s hope our NEW Springbok coach is smarter than that!

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.09.11 14:39:17 by Ben Reply
    BenAssistant coach
  • These guys are all good prospects but only Lambie and Sias has really had success at Super rugby level. Elton did not have the best S15. I would like to see all the youngsters perform well consistently at S15 level before I get too excited.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.09.11 14:57:16 by Pokkel Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
    Team captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) :

    Jumping the gun I know, but its fun writing positive things about Bok flyhalf potential for a change..

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.09.11 14:59:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) :

    Imagine writing about centre depth at the Sharks???

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.09.11 15:00:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • True, the cupboards look fairly well stock all of a sudden.

    But lets give them a season or 2 in Super Rugby first before we start blow too much smoke, as it were.

    Out of those 4 you mentioned, only Lambie has proved himself in all conditions and under all sorts of pressure.
    Elton is looking really good this CC, but he struggled in tighter games in the S15(except against the woeful brumbies who everyone bunted.)
    Catrekilis, good player. But he really hasnt been tested has he? We have no idea how he will perform with big Maoris running down his channel all day.
    Ditto for Goosen and Ebersohn.

    Things are looking better at 10, yes, but lets not be too hasty in saying our cup runneth over.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.09.11 15:03:45 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltCurrie Cup player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) :
    Yeah, Im more of a ‘glass half empty’ guy in that regard.

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.09.11 15:05:17 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltCurrie Cup player
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) :

    Why??? Is there a problem there that I don’t know about?? You have me worried now!! :twisted: ;-)

    BTW did you look at the WC fantasy league. Guess who picked Alesana Tuilagi and made him captain? :mrgreen:

    He scored me 96 points on his own!

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.09.11 15:08:53 by Pokkel Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
    Team captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) :

    I picked him as well, but you were smart enough to make him captain!!

    Well done, 38th overall hey?

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.09.11 15:10:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) :

    Early days still. It difficult to pick your team before the round starts when all the teams haven’t been announced.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.09.11 15:12:01 by Pokkel Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
    Team captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 9) :

    I know.. I like the way the Currie Cup one is set up, where most teams are announced by Friday, and you have unlimited transfers during the competition..

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.09.11 15:19:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) :
    I’ve neglected the CC one. I actually forgot about it for a couple of weeks and now I’m nowhere.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.09.11 15:20:53 by Pokkel Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
    Team captain
  • Catrakilis ,not a fan ;his passing gam, from what I have seen isnt that good ,hope to be proven wrong becuase his kicking is awesome

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.09.11 16:40:40 by Talent Reply
    TalentCurrie Cup player
  • Nice well written article,
    I differ on the players though.

    Catrakillis has done alright at this level, that being CC, but I don’t think he’s up to S15 rugby to be honest. The other 4 have more upside, with Goosen a potential superstar. Lambie would be pretty close to Goosen, and then I’d have Ebersohn and Jantjies tied.

    I doubt we’ve seen the end of Lionel Cronje though. Just something about him with that skill level makes me think he’s destined to be a Springbok. And when he gets there he won’t look back. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.09.11 18:38:42 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
  • @hendrikp (Comment 13) :

    As I said in the article, I know I’m jumping the gun, and I’m looking ahead probably two years.

    All these guys need a good SupeRugby season under the belt, and it wouldn’t kill Lambie to prove he is special by doing great in the dreaded second season.

    Looking forward to watching these guys progress.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.09.11 18:59:55 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) :

    I could be one in a thousand who prefer Lambie at fullback. We haven’t got many good fullbacks in SA, and also have to remember that is the position he has played in most (or so I’ve read?).

    Trying to make him into a flyhalf could do more harm then good, so unless they don’t rate him as a fullback I say leave him there :grin: Haven’t been overly impressed with him at 10 personally.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.09.11 05:19:04 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
  • @hendrikp (Comment 15) : Best attacking Flyhalf in SA at the moment imo. Jaco Taute will be a pretty good FB one day. I’d like to see Lambie stay at 10. Wouldn’t mind him playing 12 for the Sharks for a bit outside of Michalak. He will learn a lot from the French Maestro.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.09.11 06:21:52 by Ben Reply
    BenAssistant coach
  • @Ben (Comment 16) : I agree with you Ben… Of all the exiting youngsters Lambi is by far the most consistent FH performer.

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.09.11 06:37:52 by Franshark Reply
    FransharkTeam captain
  • @Franshark (Comment 17) :

    How can he be when he’s hardly played at flyhalf? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.09.11 07:02:37 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
  • @hendrikp (Comment 18) :
    Hardly played at flyhalf??? He has played the most Super Rugby games at 10, out of these youngsters. In any event, his consistency is a feature of his play – irrespective of where he plays. He doesn’t get flustered and he doesn’t fall apart (cue the otherwise very talented Elton Jantjies).

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.09.11 08:35:25 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishTeam captain
  • It was lambie’s 2nd season of sr in 2011

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.09.11 11:24:11 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
  • I rate Catrakilis very highly … his decision making is good, he gets his backline going, his kicking is up there percentage wise. Been impressed with him from first time I saw him in Varsity cup.

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.09.11 13:08:11 by Flintshark Reply

    FlintsharkUnder 21 player
  • @Flintshark (Comment 21) :

    He is a huge talent, we are all hoping he gets a shot in SupeRugy and proves to be immense! Not sure if he will start ahead of Grant though..

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.09.11 13:34:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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