robdylan

Without Lambie, Sharks need a Plan B


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 8 Feb 2016 at 09:17
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There’s been no official confirmation from France as to exactly how bad Pat Lambie’s shoulder injury is, but given what’s been said so far, it’s pretty safe to assume that the Sharks will need to make do without their talisman for at least a month of this year’s Super Rugby competition.

The problem with this injury is that it really nails the Sharks in two areas where they really aren’t very strong to begin with; flyhalf, but also captaincy. I have to admit that I’m not sure which of Lambie’s two key roles will be harder to fill for the team, but they will certainly feel his loss in more ways than one.

Joe Pietersen will step into the void in the number 10 jersey, at least initially. The challenge here, though, is that without Pietersen available as a fullback option, the Sharks really do have no cover for Willie le Roux – this in a year when SARU will insist that contracted Boks are afforded a decent amount of rest. Gary Gold will need to think carefully about his choices, with both Garth April and Inny-Christian Radebe available as young and exciting – albeit completely untried – options. The niggle that kept Radebe out of the current French tour may well turn out to be a bigger blow than expected, since I’m sure Gold would have relished the opportunity to see the young flyhalf in action against strong opposition before throwing him into the Super Rugby deep end.

April may turn out to be a trump card, with his ability to play both flyhalf and fullback making him hugely valuable. Similar to Willie le Roux in his approach to the fullback position, backing April as the Springbok’s understudy would hopefully allow the Sharks to remain attack-oriented, rather than doing something perceived “safer”, such as moving Odwa Ndungane to 15. With Pietersen and le Roux, understudied by Radebe and April respectively, the Sharks would appear to be ok to “limp through” the opening month of Super Rugby without Lambie, but just one further injury to any of those players exposes an underbelly that is beyond soft.

The brave decision to get rid of players like Lionel Cronje and Jaco van Tonder may well be questioned come Easter….

Looking at the captaincy question, Marcell Coetzee will now have to step up and lead the team until Lambie returns, but bear in mind that he, too, will be subject to game time limits. Keegan Daniel’s return could not be more timely, but the Sharks will now also need a backline general to act as on-field vice-captain. One fancies that Pietersen is the man most likely to take on that role, unless Michael Claassens is turned into a regular starter at scrumhalf.



56 Comments

  • Don’t forget Mvovo can also cover 15. Think without Lamie at 10 Sharks could be in a bit of trouble at 10, but would rather back the youngsters than Cronje.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.02.16 09:22:46 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 1) : Lwazi is just such a damn good wing.

    But you’re right. It’s perhaps not as dire as we think.

    BTW, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet. Anyone see Wandi’s work on defence against Toulon? My word, like a different player

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.02.16 09:27:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • What about Heimar Williams. Didn’t he also play FH at under 21.

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.02.16 09:32:42 by sudhir Reply

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  • If I am Honest I think this is 90% over reaction because we have lost an important player and captain. In terms of the on field position we have a lot of depth, on of the most covered positions, really not that big a problem. Sure no one is Lambie but still.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.02.16 09:36:37 by Seth101 Reply
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  • I am worried about the fact that Lambie consistently gets injured early on, each and every year. Whats going on that he cannot make one season through without being crippled? Although I rate him as a captain, we cannot afford to have a captain sitting out most of the season. Maybe he is just very unlucky, I don’t know. But this constant injury cloud over him is a concern to me.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.02.16 09:40:23 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 5) : It’s called Jean deVilliers syndrome.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.02.16 09:41:55 by The hound Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 4) : What we need now is for the coaching staff to really back the 2nd and 3rd no10′s we have. Joe for me is stop gap option.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.02.16 09:43:17 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 6) : True story.

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.02.16 09:44:00 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : @JD (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 2) : JPP can also cover fullback in a pinch. A back three of Mvovo, JPP and Sithole doesn’t sound too awful but I’d rather we have no further injuries to key players.

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.02.16 09:45:02 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : The issue in not 15 it is 10.

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.02.16 09:46:34 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 5) : Go take a look at how he got injured, it was because he was 100% committed in his play. It used to happen to Johnny Wilkinson often as well. These are guys that really put their bodies on the line. It is not like Lambie is made from glass like Goosen that injures himself while getting of the team bus…

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.02.16 09:46:48 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @sudhir (Comment 3) : he did, but come on….. I’d rather back a youngster who is a genuine 10 than try Heimar there.

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.02.16 09:48:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 11) : I did not see the injury, I can vouch for that. My issue is his constant injury cloud and we cannot afford for him to be constantly injured, he is our general and captain.

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.02.16 09:49:02 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 10) : unless we move Pietersen to 10. Are you saying we should leave Joe where he is?

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.02.16 09:49:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : I agree. The coaching staff needs to back a genuine no10, if it means the guy is 18 years old then so be it, but back the guy.

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.02.16 09:50:03 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 13) : He landed really bad on his elbow. The way he fell, 90% of players would have gotten injured there.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.02.16 09:50:33 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : @vanmartin (Comment 9) : ja think Sharks have lots of emergency cover at 15 as a lot of the wings can cover 15. Sharks back three should be really dangerous this year!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.02.16 09:50:46 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 5) : Yep, have thought the same thing. Can you imagine how that thought must be eating away at Lambie himself.

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.02.16 09:51:27 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : All I am saying is that Joe can fill the gap (and pretty well). But what does it do to our long term prospects? I would rather them keep the team as it is, and back a youngster all the way than having us play second fiddle at no10 all the time.

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.02.16 09:51:55 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 19) : I have a lot of sympathy with that view , which is why it’s such a damn pity Inny isn’t on tour.

    I’d be very concerned about throwing him straight in to start a Super Rugby game as his first taste of senior rugby, though. Start Joe and let Inny play 30 off the bench for the first two weeks. That will help us gauge his readiness.

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.02.16 09:54:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 18) : that boy is mentally strong. Thank goodness for that.

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.02.16 09:55:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : Not a bad idea.

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.02.16 09:55:36 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 22) : I remember Gaffie du Toit far too well….

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.02.16 09:55:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : He must be after PdV and HM :evil: :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.02.16 09:56:38 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Rob, I would support your proposal to start with Joe at 10 and Willie at 15 and have Inny and Garth as back-ups. This to me makes sense.

    Was it ‘brave’ or ‘short-sighted’ to get rid of Jaco?

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.02.16 09:58:55 by stevovo Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 10) : 100% correct. Without Pat and Joe the Sharks are inexperienced at 10. There’s lots of talent but none of them are experienced at Super rugby level.

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.02.16 09:59:08 by JD Reply
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  • Guys…. Brainwave!!!!! :!:

    Keegan at 10 and captain!!!! He has the hands, he has the running, he has the leadership…. I am not seeing any reason not to????

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.02.16 10:00:19 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : think that’s the right way to do it!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.02.16 10:00:22 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 26) : But you also don’t get any experience without being given a chance. Lambie was inexperienced when he started.

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.02.16 10:00:42 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @Seth101 (Comment 27) : tactical kicking?!?!?!

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.02.16 10:01:22 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) Don’t remind me. :???: Just a matter on interest. How do you think a New Zealand team would have handled this situation? My feeling is they may just back the next guy in line even if he is only 20 years old. Are we as South africans way to conservative in this regard? Especially after Gaffie? Then again, Frans Steyn did darn well when he got given a chance, although at wing (possibly due to the Gaffie effect).

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.02.16 10:01:25 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 30) : We have a scrumhalf for a reason don’t we? Willie or Joe (whom ever is playing fullback) kicks for polls, literally a flawless plan.

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.02.16 10:03:29 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 25) : one more injury to a 10/15 and it will look very short sighted.

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.02.16 10:03:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 25) : @robdylan (Comment 33) : Having no 10s at all doesn’t make Jaco a good player all of a sudden, unfortunately.

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.02.16 10:04:52 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Agree Rob. I have watched Curwin play and believe he is the next Sharks FH. But is he ready for SR. Inny and April are in the squad and should be backed.

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.02.16 10:07:18 by sudhir Reply

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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 10) : At least take the time to read the comments I’m responding to before informing me about the issue.

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.02.16 10:08:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 32) : ja boet.

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.02.16 10:08:15 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 37) : :lol:

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.02.16 10:09:31 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : Yep, thank goodness for that.

  • Comment 39, posted at 08.02.16 10:10:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : I like that idea…

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.02.16 10:11:03 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 29) : Though they did introduce Lambie from fullback before he moved to flyhalf…but fair enough…

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.02.16 10:13:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • It appears as though Pieterson will play 10 with Inny as another option when he gets fit. LeRoux will play 15 with April the 2nd choice there. Both LeRoux and April can play 10 with Mvovo, JPP and even Odwa able to cover 15.

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.02.16 10:28:10 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 42) : Esterhuizen can play 15 too

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.02.16 10:49:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : I remember he played there for the u21s…and wasnt he a school 15? I never really got any feedback on how he went there for the u21s? With the way both sets of centres went on Fri id be very tempted to play JPP at wing or if no Willie then at 15.

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.02.16 10:53:28 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : and flank :evil: :grin:

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.02.16 11:15:47 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 45) : Haha. Jack of all trades. He’s starting to look decent at 12. I’d leave him there.

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.02.16 11:18:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : Thats his best position for me as well,hope Gold doesn’t fiddle with it ,by playing JPP there when he comes back.

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.02.16 11:25:05 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : then it’s time to shift him to 9. :twisted:

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.02.16 14:15:42 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 45) : only according to the great legendary JW!!!!!!!!!! :roll: :twisted:

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.02.16 14:16:38 by JD Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 11) : Really? And the difference is what? You are talking through your nostril boet. The reason why Goosen got so many injuries was for that exact same reason. he just played full tilt without any regard.

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.02.16 18:44:13 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 50) : to be totally honest I personally think JG was pushed to soon into senior rugby and should have played age group rugby for at least one more year before being thrusted into Super rugby. Although guys like JG and Bosch have the talent to play Super rugby their bodies are not necessarily ready and able to hand it.

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.02.16 21:49:27 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 51) : That I do agree with. watching Gosen play in his 1st season of super rugby, I always cringed. that boy used to play with such commitment. Contesting rucks, flying into tackles, no sense of wellbeing at all. Youthful exuberance at it’s worst. HM should have allowed him a few games to really get over his injury, but after two halves for the Cheetahs he was rushed into the team to face the Wallabies and AB’s

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.02.16 19:09:45 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 45) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.02.16 22:00:14 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : @The hound (Comment 47) : I agree…leave him there…I think this could be his break-out season…

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.02.16 22:01:20 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 52) : rushing players back after injury is happening a lot and I think a lot of players start playing way to soon!!!!!!!!!! Having an extra year to get his body ready can do a lot for a young player, just look at the twins how well they doing now.

  • Comment 55, posted at 11.02.16 08:03:25 by JD Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 54) : please don’t talk about breaking!!!!!!!!!! :twisted: let’s rather call it his “coming of age season”!!!!!!!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 56, posted at 11.02.16 08:07:32 by JD Reply
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