The ticker for greatness

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 18 Oct 2010 at 09:34
Tagged with : , , ,

It may be the ignorance of youth, but given the sideshows with certain players in the last 18 months it is refreshing to see a brilliant young talent taking everything in his stride.

There is nothing that irritates me more in South African rugby than individuals shifting the blame. It is prominent in administration and coaching, but I have wasted too many inches of column space on those two subjects.  But recently it has seemed that players have too caught up on this new tactic in rugby of shifting the blame.

A massive problem is of course players starting to believe the hype that surrounds them, and if anything, or anyone attempts to burst that bubble their throw their toys out of the cot.

More unfortunate than this however is that these players are massively talented, an asset to any team, but what they make up for natural talent as players, they lack in the mental application.

There are two ex-Sharks players in Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar that comes to mind, and even though I will not claim to know the full story or having inside information, recent situations and interviews published in the media leaves a very sour taste in my mouth personally.

But enough of them, how about we look at a player who to me seems to be on the different side of this spectrum!

This young man has been identified as a special talent and given what he has produced on the field, there seems little doubt that indeed he is something quite special.

But it is not just what he does on the field from a talent perspective, it is how he applies himself to the situation which is what interested me.

For a young man in his first season of senior rugby Patrick Lambie has not only shown that he has the goods in the skills department, but he also has the aptitude to play rugby at the highest level.

And it is in the mental application of players where you identify something really special.

How often do we hear that player X is a ‘confidence‘ player? A player who seemingly needs to be given or shown something to play at his best, or get self-confidence.

Excuse me? How is self-confidence in any individual the fault of another person in rugby? You either have the ticker and belief in yourself to overcome bad press, or unfavourable team selections or you do not – simple as that.

Going around blaming coaches for inconsistent selections or bad communication or throwing a hissy-tiff because some journalist or columnist gave you a bad wrap, says more about you than it does about the coach or writer.

It was on this weekend again in the semi-final, against arguably the best provincial rugby team in the world, where Lambie showed just how ready he is, and how good he is when it comes to performing at the highest levels.

A kick went directly into touch, it was a bad kick, an unforced error that handed advantage to the other team, and in a close game or an important game as a semi-final, this can possibly have dire consequences.

What did he do? He turned around, brushed it off, and got on with the game.

Seems a pretty simple thing to most I would imagine, perhaps even worrying to some that he takes a mistake like that so lightly! But to me it shows a player that has the utmost faith in his ability where he will not get flustered, or sidetracked when things does not go his way, and that is the ticker I want to see in a player.

Not only has he done and shown this type of attitude in domestic competitions, but when he was asked to fill the crucial number 15 jersey for the Sharks in a bit of a crisis in the Super 14, he was identified as one of the more special players not only in the Sharks team, but in the tournament.

By all accounts this young man has displayed these characteristics from a young age. Humble in everything he does, accepting leadership roles and responsibilities with ease and being respected by young and old, junior and senior players.

I know of a certain player whose head would have dropped, his game falling apart completely with no doubt, countless post match articles claiming how coaches should have nurtured him better or not screwed him around.

Yet Lambie has taken most of this in his stride, whether he wore the 15, 12 or number 10 shirt – and that makes for a real special talent.


  • And to top it off, the young man turned 20 yesterday.

    Good read Morne, as always. And I think I might know of which other player you are talking about in your closing lines.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.10.10 09:38:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Just to bad he is only on a two year contract…. NRU should’ve signed him for 5 years…..

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.10.10 09:41:33 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Morne good read as always , just as a matter of interest do you feel that Jantjies could fall under the same temperament ?

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.10.10 09:45:00 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • HAPPY 20th B-DAY PAT!!!!
    May you have many more. (BDAYS and semi / final wins for the Sharks):):):)

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.10.10 09:46:58 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 3) :

    He just might, but I would like to see him in Super rugby first.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.10.10 09:53:10 by Morné Reply
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 2) : Pat will stay with the Sharks, I’m sure of it. Natal rugby flows through his veins

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.10.10 09:56:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Good read Morne. And may he continue to display this kind of maturity for the rest of his career… and remain with the Sharks of course.

    @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 3) : Elton is a simalar prospect and I’m looking forward to the battle that will be waged between these two player. Just goes to show how much talent we have in SA given a chance they can prove them selves.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.10.10 09:59:28 by Farlington Reply

  • RP didn’t have it but Lambie sure does 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.10.10 10:12:43 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I’m sure he had a great birthday yesterday. And he has good reason to be proud, he went out there stood his man and made every move count and he didn’t look at all intimidated going against the Springboks’ 1st choice flyhalf.

    Well done Lambie and Happy Birthday. Proud of you.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.10.10 10:14:30 by Nita Reply

  • It was nice to see Pat get the better of Morne Steyn

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.10.10 10:19:49 by mikey Reply

  • Great to see home grown talent like this coming through with the Sharks. Racing’s gain is in fact ours too. Frankly, they can keep Steyn for as long as it takes. Remember silver toes Percy? He was a 2nd rate 15. Went north, did a little growing up and came back a top draw player. I’d really like to see that from both FS and RP. RP more so.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.10.10 10:22:05 by rugbypedia Reply

  • Spot on Morne. I agree with your confidence player remark. Never understood that.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.10.10 10:28:11 by Sportbilly Reply

  • Nice read.

    I am excited to see more of SuperPat, he surpassed all my expectations of him in the semi and it was so nice to see him oozing confidence after taking that mark, kicking it back and then shouting words of encouragement to the team.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.10.10 10:34:53 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @Farlington (Comment 7) :

    Elton’s taken some tips from Andy Goode in the conditioning department. Lambie physically superior and more durable at the moment.

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.10.10 10:38:49 by Sportbilly Reply

  • I believed before the game rhat it would come down to the team with the greater mental ability.
    Lambie showed us this (especially with THAT catch!).
    Now, if Morne Steyn was up to it, why didn,t he just tell victor no ways, I’m going for posts, I CAN do it, and forget about the rest of the game.
    The delay of the match, and the rain sure as hell impacted on the outcome, favouring the stronger (mental) side, which proved to be us.
    I also believe we can klap the WP in 2 weeks time because of this fact,

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.10.10 10:43:32 by Crock Reply

  • @Sportbilly (Comment 14) : Now now… give credit where credit is due. He played a big role in the Lions turn around this season. I’m also pretty sure he will pick up a few extra usefull tips from “king Carlos”. That might just even things out a bit.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.10.10 10:57:37 by Farlington Reply

  • The best thing for Lambie’s development would be for him to play for the Crusaders for a season or two where he can develop and be mentored by the best in the business… Mr Carter.

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.10.10 12:30:21 by CS Reply

  • Appears to have what it takes.

    Will be watching with interest.

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.10.10 14:00:33 by McLovin Reply

  • He is a special talent. All the skills, and mentally, he is so much stronger than any of his peers.

    His focus and quiet confidence remind me of FDP.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.10.10 14:45:17 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Lambies dad played for Natal and he went to Michaelhouse so I really don’t see him leaving any time soon. If he does leave it will probably be to go overseas later on in his career. I think we’ve actually got a long term replacement for Butch now. I still hold my breath when he kicks for posts but he did well on the weekend and its something that can definately be improved on by simply working at it. Hopefully he kicks well against Province as De Vaal will make us pay for any infringements.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.10.10 15:36:11 by RuckingFun Reply


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