Richard Ferguson

Lambie given free reign

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 22 Nov 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Pat Lambie was selected to start his third test on this tour at flyhalf and according to reports has been given the instruction to play his natural attacking game, contrary to the style has been playing in the first two victories this tour so far.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has told the Beeld that had a chat with Lambie and that he told the young flyhalf to play his natural game and get his backline going.

Lambie had played in the first two tests against Ireland and Scotland, in both matches playing a deep kicking game, where his backline got very little ball and if it did go past him, play was behind the advantage line.

Meyer’s instruction comes two days before the Boks face their toughest task on this tour, and an indication that Meyer knows that they will lose against England if they continue playing the defensive kicking game.

For the conspiracy theorist, this may be Meyer’s plan of setting Lambie up for disaster and a way of getting Lambie out of the picture. IF Lambie has a blinder though, he might cement his spot in the Bok 10 jersey for a while still.


  • Well my biggest worry is that JVD will only ruck it up so whats the point in Lambie even passing?

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.11.12 08:28:28 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • I am one such conspiracy theorist 🙄

    Go Lambie Go!

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.11.12 08:29:04 by Talent Reply
  • Lets hope he gets more ball this weekend. I compared some stats against other flyhalfs and scrumhalfes for the end of year tours. In other team the flyhalf makes about half as many passes as the scrumhalf. In the bok team for this tour it was a 1 to 5 ratio showing that lambie is either kicking every ball or not getting it. I think it is the latter.

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.11.12 08:45:47 by Viking Reply
  • @Uli (Comment 1) : Lambie has quite a good skip pass 😆 or he can just cross kick it to JP and skip both the stormer centres that did not make a single pass in the last game.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.11.12 08:47:00 by Viking Reply
  • Maybe Meyer has seen enough of Lambie to realise that he can be trusted at 10, and thus deserves more rope.

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.11.12 08:47:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Please HM leave SuperPat alone! Hes screwing with his mind! Kick it, kick it…oh no wait run it ! FFS make up your mind HM! 😈 He should have let him play his natural game from the start.
    @Uli (Comment 1) :
    We need FS back and fast, Jean is not an option for the future!

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.11.12 08:50:39 by Quintin Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : He does not need more rope, just more balls. Excuse the pun :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.11.12 08:51:08 by Viking Reply
  • I just hope the rest of the team (read senior players who they’re something) has been informed of this.

    Lambie will thrive on this load of responsibility, he’s not made for brain dead pawn rugby, he needs to call the shots.

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.11.12 08:54:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 8) : *think

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.11.12 09:04:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Quintin (Comment 6) : I agree but we need FS back without HM telling him to bash it up either….

    @Viking (Comment 4) : Lets pray to that 😉

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.11.12 09:22:15 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • Lambie can do it but the heavies need to show up.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.11.12 09:35:46 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 11) : It will be a sad day in Springbok rugby when our forwards don’t show up for an England test.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.11.12 10:17:17 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 12) : I agree, England will punish us badly then.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.11.12 10:30:00 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • Boy,how we miss Bismarck,Kanko & Keegan. If they wanted anyone to show up,they would!Why would HM want to only now let “natural” rugby take place, when it show have been done & managed in the first place?Go figure.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.11.12 10:34:21 by markm Reply

  • @markm (Comment 14) : It seems as though HM started out with a lot of theories about coaching the Springboks, which has been shot down.

    One big change he made was his view on the fetcher, he has since learned from that mistake, and FLouw has saved HM’s bacon on a few occasions with his fetching skills.

    Now he has finally decided to give Lambie control and decision making powers – let’s hope it pays off, as it will be another step in the evolution of HM’s coaching theories and beliefs.

    To his slight credit, he is showing somewhat of a willingness to change – however slow it might be.

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.11.12 10:44:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : Won´t help much giving Lambie free reign if Pienaar still has the FdP mindset.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.11.12 10:51:40 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @markm (Comment 14) : perhaps Lambie can be the catalyst here to showcase exactly how one-dimensional (and poorly-skilled) a lot of the players around him are…. if Lambie is given free reign to get the ball to these dinosaurs, perhaps it is THEIR places that will come under scrutiny, not his?

    Living in hope here

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.11.12 10:54:05 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : Interesting observations made by Paul Delport to Tank Lanning regarding how much the XV guys struggle to get to terms with the training regime at the Blitzbokke.

    This due to their lack of ball skills (being unable to even pass both ways or making long passes) and their fitness levels.

    I always liked the idea of having True coach the Bok backline (and even do skills training with the whole team). Oh well, was not to be.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.11.12 11:03:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 18) : interesting indeed… makes you wonder what the hell our school and age-group coaches are actually doing…

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.11.12 11:07:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Hopefully Provincial sevens, the new Varsity sevens and schools sevens will become an incubator for skilled players able to join the XV man code.

    Let’s face it, not all of them will make the 2016 Olympic team. So that should become the breeding ground for skill development of loosies and backline players.

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.11.12 11:11:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • As if we needed any more confirmation that Lambie was SEVERELY reigned in in the previous two matches.

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.11.12 11:18:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 12) : It’s happened many a time sadly.

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.11.12 11:27:23 by lostfish Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 20) : I just have to ask… is the typo intentional?

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.11.12 11:29:27 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 23) : Which typo :mrgreen: 😆 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.11.12 11:42:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • “Lambie had played in the first two tests against Ireland and Scotland, in both matches playing a deep kicking game, where his backline got very little ball and if it did go past him, play was behind the advantage line.”

    His backline got very little ball? He got very little ball! You can hardly call it his backline, if he’s not allowed the possession to feed them some good ball.

    Lambie have seen very little of the ball in the first two games. I would say Jdv even got the ball more than he did. If anyone is to be blamed for the rest of the backline not getting the ball in should be De Villiers, not Lambie.

    Usually a 10 gets 50% or more of the passes made by the 9 (based on the stats Rob have had up here in the past, I would say a 9 touches the ball up to 60 – 90 times in a match, which would have given Lambie at least 30 – 45 touches), but I doubt very much that Lambie touched the ball more than 15 – 20 times in each of these matches. I can’t find a site that has this stat available, but I can bet RP made less than 50% of his passes to Lambie… significantly less.

    I feel like watching the games again just to confirm.

    If HM won’t trust Lambie to make him his general, as he is with the Sharks, and get the ball to him more, we can’t really expect Lambie to be the general he is for the Sharks.

    We’ll see what happens this weekend, but I haven’t seen the coach putting his faith in Lambie yet.

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.11.12 11:50:28 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I’m getting pretty sick of reading comments about the signs being there that Lambie just don’t cut it at International level and that bloggers (sharksworld bloggers) should not just defend his every move and accept that he might not be good enough.

    I honestly have to say, that I haven’t seen anything from Lambie that I need to defend. He has not received the ball enough for him to get a chance to do something that I would need to defend.

    Jean de Villers, Adriaan Strauss and Willem Alberts has recieved the ball more as first receiver than Lambie did and I have to agree that they have been doing a shit job of feeding the backline. JP, who has been in electrifying form this season, did not receive one pass in the game against Scotland. I would say this is because the above mentioned players, who I would say receives about 80% of the first passes, haven’t made a single pass themselves.

    I wish there’s a damn site who has this passes made and received stat available!

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.11.12 11:59:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : Jean has no clue nor skill for offloading in the tackle.

    Is his upper body not strong enough to free up his arms to get the ball away, or is he using poor technique in the tackle, or both?

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.11.12 12:10:13 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I am even though I have tried to see this in a positive light, of the opinion that Lambie is being setup here.
    Since joining the Bok setup Lambie has been coached to play differently, and also one can see HIs kicking style has changes to it as well as his tackling, another thing of course as mentioned he now stands deep in the pocket.
    Now for me it is no use telling one player he can play his natural style and not the rest of his team mates who are not used to the style Lambie normally plays, bar of course one or 2 of the players.
    If one looks at the forwards it is easy to see why a plain running rugby style struggles as the ball in phases are always slow as the tight5 are not hitting a ruck as they should.
    The loose forward trio although playing well and defending well as a unit are very slow in getting to breakdown thus most of the has already been slowed down or been lost.
    In the previous matches to take Jandre kruger as an example as I re-watched the matches again where one is not all nervous as to who is going to win etc it was interesting to see how little this player was doing, how many tackles he missed (7 in 2 matches) and also how poor his attention to what his job was at the broken down play.
    By the way on 3 of the 7 missed tackles it was Lambie who had to make the cover tackle for the tackle missed by Jandre.
    Now getting to the backline who again are nowhere and this is where my biggest concern is and why I have this feeling Lambie is being setup.
    Firstly the players in the backline are none in mind honed in to play an attacking running game as has been seen so far, and all one has to do is break up the backline into individuals.
    KIrchner all be it he has been secure on defense and the high ball he is not even a part of the backline? He never joins the backline? He never runs running lines to create overlaps; he never hits the line at pace thus leaving the backline a man short whenever they attack.
    Wings cannot be blamed here as it comes not to the lack of coaching and although JPP does do this one hardly sees Hougaard do anything besides defend, who by the way is very poor under the high balls.
    The centers is a huge problem and it matters not how many passes Lambie makes, but if the ball is not passed further that the no 12? No move will be successful then, JDV just does not pass.
    I do not really want to lay blame at the feet of JDJ here as even though he is known as a ball hog too? He had his first match and actually played well but never received the ball to be able to pass it to the next player.
    Now to scrumhalf where Ruan also seems to be under some form of coaching a kick and chase game or who knows what? Ruan when he came on as a substitute in the English tour to SA series his service was snappy, yes he had faster service than Hougaard and his option taking was good.
    Suddenly Ruan is slow and kicks 90% of possession away, and a kick one must remember is only as good as the chaser, and in this case the past 2 matches it became an attacking weapon for our opponents against us.
    Lambie himself being very unsure as to his role has looked out of place something we don’t see when he plays for his provincial team; this also does not help towards flow in the backline.
    There is also the problem of forwards in the backline and it is probably the biggest problem we have as our forwards to not try attacking with offloads etc, they all run to steam roller the defense in front of them where they go to ground and ball is taken off them or slowed down.
    And I am sure if one looks more closely you would find more issues in our play, so how will 1 man in our team be able to make us a running rugby attacking team if it is not in their mindsets? And not in their style of play drummed into them or being the style they play at their provinces??
    And this is my reason for saying Patrick Lambie is being set up, be it on purpose by the coaching staff or not?? and to be very honest one can say the same for a few players in the Bok setup as one can’t see JDJ weave magic if he never gets the ball for example.

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.11.12 12:27:05 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 27) : Jean is a world class player and does a damn good job of getting over the advantage line and when he played with Jacque he did plenty of good things that proved that he can in fact pass and put players into space.

    He’s under instructions. He can pass and offload and should just do it.

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.11.12 12:48:08 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 29) : Letgo, how come he hardly ever pases when playing for WP?? maybe he used to, but right now he hardly ever passes, and it’s a problem, he does not seem to trsut the players along side him, and he should

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.11.12 12:54:10 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 29) : Yeah no.

    JdV is a below average distributor, the ball gets to him, and that’s where the move ends.

    That’s why you don’t convert a wing into an inside center.

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.11.12 13:04:21 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 29) : @sharks_lover (Comment 30) : @FireTheLooser (Comment 31) :

    JdV passes ok to his left but his passes to the right are atrocious. They are either slow and loopy or forward. (remember the forward pass to Lambie in the WRC quarter final?)

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.11.12 13:24:10 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 32) : correct and that is when he does pass.

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.11.12 13:36:12 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Kill ’em all, Lambie!

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.11.12 13:41:18 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • Another conspiracy theory is that Meyer is simply saving face with the media. “Ja Pat, play your natural attacking game but only once you’ve kicked x amount of balls and are in the correct field position.”

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.11.12 14:52:47 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Hougaard on playing 11: “I feel for Lwazi because he is a top player,” he told the Beeld website. “I really want Lwazi to play, because it’s not nice for me. It feels unfair that I play in his position.”

    I think Meyer may have been slightly short-sighted in sticking with Hougaard on the wing. Consistancy in selection is a good thing, and I applaude him for it but next year Habana and Pietersen will be back and that will mean next to no game time for Mvovo in the green and gold. Wasted 3 possible matches that Mvovo could have played in on this tour IMO…

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.11.12 15:01:53 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Sheesh, seems the Lambie fans are getting their excuses in early here.

    He’s got the chance, on the big stage, to show what he’s made of and what he can offer. It’s all up to him now. This is, after all, what y’all wanted, no?

    And for those thinking he’s being set-up to fail, if he cant hack it under this coach, playing against England (not France, NZ, Aus) then I’d hazard he simply isnt ready or not currently good enough.

    But, by all means, get your excuses in early. First he was playing to instruction, now he’s being set-up to fail. Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

    And they say Bulls fans are one-eyed… 😀

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.11.12 17:11:33 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 26) :

    I played flyhalf for a fair amount of my playing career and if there’s somebody standing between you and the ruck and you want the ball, then its your responsibility to get rid of them or push them out the way.

    If the inside centre is taking more ball than you, then its nobody’s problem but yours.

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.11.12 17:16:50 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) : Got to agree with you there, I don’t think any international coach is petty enough to set up one of his players to fail…which in tern would reflect worse on the coach himself.

    Naah, I believe HM has seen enough to believe that Lambie is actually able to cut it at this level, and he deserves to play a leading role for the Boks.

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.11.12 17:21:12 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • The Springboks problems run deeper than Ruan Pienaar at 9. Our forwards don’t win collisions ,dont take the ball into contact in a position that alows them to place it securely ,our cleaners dont clear the rucks with the urgency needed and only then does it go through the hands, and more than likely to a forward.

  • Comment 40, posted at 22.11.12 20:58:53 by Talent Reply
  • We don’t offload in contact either ,so the likelihood of us getting behind the defensive line isn’t high, all defense has to do is trot backwards a little.

  • Comment 41, posted at 22.11.12 21:00:57 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 41) : That long post i made earlier pretty much explains it, its a total lack of many things, of course i dont believe the national coach is setting certain players up to fail

    What i am saying though is if you cant look further then only that that you know as a coach you have a problem, unless you broaden your knowledge you are freaking lost,

    for him to play players that have never played the style he is trying to impose on them is putting them in a position of fail,

    I know i used Lambie as an example, but unless the whole team thinks alike and has the exact same style of play in their minds its matter of “Huston we have a problem”

    Yes luckily England is not a great team right now so we possibly could win, but trust me unless our mindset to a fixed style of play changes we going nowhere faster that that stationary 1927 old steam strain standing on a scrap heap somewhere.

  • Comment 42, posted at 22.11.12 21:15:09 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Have any of you here thought that it might be Lambie that changed his own game as an act of desperation to have HM consistently select him? I mean even HM said”he showed today that he’s not a player who can just run and pass the ball”. To me this statement also says that this is what Meyer previously thought of Lambie. I know we are all Lambie supporters here(so am I) but we have to think that Pat might have changed HIS OWN game.
    At least the Kicking coach can’t shut up about him stating how good he is and that he’s exactly the type of player they want etc…

  • Comment 43, posted at 22.11.12 21:51:52 by HORSEFLY Reply

  • @rhineshark (Comment 16) : The bad backline starts with Pienaar – Now here many may not admit it but it is where we faltered at the CC final (except for the lineout disaster)Lambie did not get quick ball and accurate ball. McLeod may not be flashy, but he contributes a lot to Lambie’s game. He is a fast and accurate SH and brings a lot of momentum to our backline. Idf you review the test you will notice how often Lambie has to stretch or jump to find the ball. Once this happens the backline movement is over! Ido not have the confidence in the current selection and predict that Pienaar will be replaced with Houghaart during the England test. HM will do well to select McLeod as partner for Lambie.

  • Comment 44, posted at 22.11.12 23:00:57 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 40) : We won at least 4 turnovers and knocked then all on the first pass…

  • Comment 45, posted at 22.11.12 23:06:21 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 44) : sorry to say but I don’t think McLeod will be first choice for the Sharks at 9. He was really bad this year and can’t see him in the Springbok setup soon.

  • Comment 46, posted at 22.11.12 23:22:43 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Talent (Comment 40) : @KILLER SHARK (Comment 44) : What makes you guys say that Pienaar is the problem?? 😕 He’s been brilliant! He’s quick to the rucks and gets the ball out quickly. His speed of pass is also better than Hougaard’s.

  • Comment 47, posted at 23.11.12 08:16:02 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 32) : Don’t forget that forward pass to Aplon in the Super 15 game in Durban earlier this year.

  • Comment 48, posted at 23.11.12 08:43:09 by Uli Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 40) : I have said this all allong, but who other than Ruan? The only scrummy that complements Lambies game is McLeod. To me Hougie is not an option , yes he as good things, but he is slow from the base with his passes.

  • Comment 49, posted at 23.11.12 08:45:54 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 44) : I agree 100% there with you mate.

  • Comment 50, posted at 23.11.12 08:48:03 by Uli Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • @JD (Comment 46) : I don’t see how bad he was, compared to a certain failure at scrum half in the final McLeod was 100 times better this year. I get the feeling everyone are way to harsh on McLeod, he does a decent enough job at the base to give the back line quick ball, no other half back in SA can say the same. He also has a good eye for a break and also a decent enough tackle for a scrum half. I remember when he played for the Wildebeest side, he always made the backs move so quickly with the ball he got out.

  • Comment 51, posted at 23.11.12 08:52:52 by Uli Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : Could not agree with you more. Comparitive stats for the end of year tours indicates that a 10 makes about 50% the amount of passes a 9 makes. For SA it has been 20%. Lambie is just not getting the ball in good positions to make something happen. I really hope this changes this weekend.

  • Comment 52, posted at 23.11.12 09:31:53 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 52) : I believe Lambie is adding to his FH skills, which is probably why he’s getting mixed results.

    He’ll probably concentrate on playing FH from now on, and I hope he’ll receive the proper coaching during the off season.

    Louis Koen said that Lambie puts in a lot of effort in training, and even comes for extra advice and training when the official training session is over, he also said that Lambie wants to get into the leadership of the Boks.

  • Comment 53, posted at 23.11.12 10:23:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • For all Ruan’s haters read this and this is only one of many praises for Piennar.

  • Comment 54, posted at 23.11.12 11:49:22 by tedanica Reply
  • @tedanica (Comment 54) : Enjoyed the article! Thanks!

  • Comment 55, posted at 23.11.12 12:03:20 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : You,re welcome. 🙂

  • Comment 56, posted at 23.11.12 12:04:40 by tedanica Reply

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