Meyer needs a number two

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 29 Aug 2013 at 12:00
Tagged with : , , , , ,

So Morne Steyn has been re-established as Heyneke Meyer’s number one and who could argue his decision? Patrick Lambie had possibly his worse season (albeit behind a struggling Sharks pack) since 2010 when he made his debut for the Sharks in the Super 14. Later that year he was integral in the Sharks’ Currie-Cup-Champion campaign when he moved to fly-half for the Sharks for the first time. Lambie’s form isn’t the only arguing factor though, as Morne Steyn played some of the best rugby he has played in a long while. Even the cruellest of critics, like myself, couldn’t deny that Morne still may have something to offer in a Springbok jersey. Maybe a break from the game really did him some good (or fatherhood), but Morne certainly looks comfortable in his role with the Sprinboks again.

This however does not explain why Lambie (and every other fly-half for that matter) has seemingly completely fallen out of favour as fly-half cover. Nothing has been said about this topic in the media yet, but going on what we have seen in the first two tests against Argentina, it seems as though the Bok coach is completely reluctant to replace Morne Steyn for even a moment. It is certainly understandable that Steyn was not taken off in the second match against Argentina, where the forwards were clearly struggling to produce any decent momentum and space for the South African backs against a combative Argentina onslaught. Steyn was handling the pressure like a veteran and more importantly slotting every shot at goal with the confidence and ease we’ve gotten used in the past. Bringing a very inexperienced international fly-half on during this match could have been detrimental, for the team and maybe even the player.

The first match, on the other hand, was probably in the bag 5 minutes into the second half. Lambie came on at the 50 minute mark, which would have been ideal if the coach didn’t decide to rather replace Willie le Roux (who was having an excellent game and could have also used more experience at international level) and gave Lambie, the only other fly-half in Meyer’s squad, 30 minutes at fullback.

This poses the question, what would Meyer have done had Morne Steyn picked up a bump during the nerve wrecking stages of that second half in Mendoza? Would it have been fair to ask of the young man to step up and finish out that game? Lambie has the maturity that would suggest he would be capable, but why would a coach take that chance? And what if Morne Steyn comes back from his duties to his new French club with a niggle, unable to start the game against the Wallabies? Would Meyer trust the 22 year old to do the job? I suppose, the fact is, he would have no choice. It would seem it would then be in the best interest of the player, the team and the coach to give the player as much game time before this situation presents itself.

Maybe Heyneke Meyer has a plan that we are unaware of, but if that’s the case, this plan was not very apparent during the past two tests. The fact is when it comes to a couple of the key positions in a rugby team, every team needs a capable and ready number two, one that the coach can show his trust in and one that the coach has prepared to take the field whenever he is needed. At hooker we have Struass and Bissie, at scum-half the one struggling can easily be replaced with the other (not ideal, but it plays to my point), at inside centre, lock and even fullback we have the same – and it seems as though the coaches are “looking into” the tight-head situation. It is only fly-half where Meyer is neglecting to employ this strategy.

Unless Lambie is not Meyer’s ideal option and he’s waiting on an injured player to return, he needs to show some faith in the young man and give him time on the field to develop his skills, confidence and decision making at international level giving him an opportunity to gain some invaluable experience, just in case he is needed at some point.


  • Could be he’s waiting for the Golden Goose, but he’s out for a long while. Hopefully Lambie gets backing as reserve 10. There isn’t anyone in the squad who can cover FH at international level.

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.08.13 12:14:18 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • If he is waiting for Goosen he will be waiting a long time as that boy is now crocked. Lambie for me should be the Bok 15 not 10. He is a make shift 10 im afraid and as much as Morne just kicks Lambie just shovels it along. At 15 he joins the line attacks from deep and becomes unpredictable. So who to for 10- well why Peter Grant was just discarded is beyond me but that horse has bolted. Elton Janjies is so off form its scary. Heaven forbid we have the flyhalf curse the All Blacks have had as we would be in serious trouble. So who would be my pick as backup 10 – of the current fit bunch it would have to be Lambie. But long term, eish dare I say Catrakilis…unless a serious SOS is sent to Peter Grant.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.08.13 12:22:51 by SheldonK Reply

  • Grant’s line kicks is quite short, think that’s the biggest con against him.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.08.13 12:30:52 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) :I disagree ,Lambie has been our most consistent Flyhalf since he was moved there.

    Grant and Catrikillis aren’t Bok material I’m afraid ,not even close with Grant.

    I would play Lambie, drop Steyn into a garbage disposal unit and have Jantjies on the bench.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.08.13 12:38:57 by Talent Reply
  • “On form Steyn” 😆 ; you guys just regurgitate what you hear on boots and all/other blog sites(people trying to cast a discerning voice so what they say will actually be considered -A hendrikp masterclass)…

    I still see him missing tackles ,hashing our back-line to pieces with his slingshot skip passes ,standing deep and static. His kicking is good ,but does that absolve him from everything else his international peers do? Any Kiwi flyhalf will squash this rookie in anything else but kicking…

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.08.13 12:46:30 by Talent Reply
  • 1-10 man rugby .Scissors out the rest of the team .Meyer and his blue bulls brigade will see us hold that ball in the forwards and slap the team with sissy drop goals and penalty kicks. 😆

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.08.13 12:48:59 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 5) :

    Just a shame all the Kiwi flyhalves are broken?

    Steyn is the best we have, that is the end of the story. Lambie hasn’t been able to get a backline going in over 2 years, and lacks Steyns goal kicking attributes.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.08.13 12:49:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Talent (Comment 6) :

    Unless you forget, a ‘sissy-drop goal’ won us a World Cup.

    Just saying..

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.08.13 12:50:41 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Talent (Comment 6) : How is this different than Jake White’s pre world cup plan?

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.08.13 12:56:13 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • Sometimes Meyer looks like he could do with a good number 2 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.08.13 12:59:09 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) : Thats why the future of the Sharks is Zeilinga/Du Preez at 10 with Lambie at 15. Throw in Jordaan at 13 and Williams has been decent at 12 and the backline will start moving again. Lambie is a 15 and nbody will convince me otherwise. 1 handoff does not a flyhalf make.

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.08.13 13:14:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 10) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.08.13 13:26:12 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Morne is as bog ordinary as he has always been. Has no creativity or flair, is not capable of igniting his outside backs and has always been a liability in defence. All he can do is kick.

    Morne has never made a single Bok side of mine for a good reason – he is an ordinary rugby player with a good boot.

    The notion that Lambie has been poor this year is nonsense. He has been solid and I’d rather have a solid Lambie at 10 for the Boks than an unimaginative Morne.

    Lambie and Goosen are our only true challengers at 10

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.08.13 14:03:22 by Saffex Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) :Is that you Hendrikp??? 😆 Mr. Richard “Matter of fact” 😉

    @Blue Centurion (Comment 9) : Are you serious ?I’m not undermining the need for good goal kickers ,I’m just highlighting that we shouldn’t be playing a player who is sub par in everything else.

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) : Lambie hasnt had a decent run at 10 for two years now, see any correlation? one year he is injured and moved up and down between 10 and 15 -the other year he plays behind an impotent pack.

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.08.13 14:48:22 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 14) :

    So you agree that he has done nothing whatsoever to claim a spot in the Springbok starting line-up?

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.08.13 15:07:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) : I feel compelled to point out, that he did nothing wrong to get dropped as the starting flyhalf in 2013 in the first place, after he was backed by Meyer in the yr end tour! Yes he has no set the world alight in 2013 at all, but did Steyn in 2012…repeatedly not so, and yet still held onto his jersey for most of the yr. 100 percent agree with author, Lambie should have replaced Steyn and not Le Roux at the 50 min mark. What did Steyn have to gain by staying on, and better yet would Le Roux have played better away had he had a full 80mins at fullback in home leg…I’d say absolutely.
    Different set of rules for different players, the hallmark of the Meyer era thus far.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.08.13 15:41:08 by neilster Reply

  • @neilster (Comment 16) :

    I agree that Lambie should be given game time as the backup flyhalf, absolutely, and your point regarding Le Roux and Steyn in that first match is spot on, I agree fully.

    I just don’t think that we can say that Steyn should be dropped for Lambie to start a test, not against Australia or New Zealand, not home or away!

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.08.13 15:44:21 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 17) : I agree, there is no way Lambie is ready for that now as he has had zero game time at flyhalf internationally this yr. Can you say conclusively that your view would be different now, had he remained 1st choice?

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.08.13 15:46:07 by neilster Reply

  • Look, I’m not a Lambie hater. In fact, I quite like his style and what we know he can do with the Sharks, I just think he is off his best at the moment.

    Whatever the reason for that may be, whether it is lack of game time or playing for a shit Sharks side, he is not in the form to be starting at flyhalf for the Boks.

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.08.13 15:47:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @neilster (Comment 18) :

    If he had remained first choice flyhalf for the Springboks?

    Yes, it would be a completely different argument then.

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.08.13 15:48:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) : @Blue Centurion (Comment 9) : I’d prefer the no. 1 ranking over a 3 year period, over waiting 4 years to hopefully win another world cup.

    Each and every Springbok coach wants to put his own selfish little stamp on Springbok rugby.

    Yet NZ coaches takes over from their predecessor and keeps the ship pointing north, they don’t change direction every 4 bloody years, and they don’t plan/play/coach for the sole purpose of winning the wc once every 4 years.

    And we wonder why we can’t beat them?! 🙄

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.08.13 15:58:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) : Not at all. Im saying that if he failed to impress its because his teams didn’t impress, and he suffered as a result.Still ,in failing to impress by his own standards, he played better than Steyn.

    Let me clarify my point of view; Morne Steyn is limited. He is the cornerstone of the game plan I dislike so much.

    Lambie is our one flyhalf who ticks all the boxes ,but because his kicking is slightly less potent(not less accurate) he is not chosen. Why have we not seen F Steyn called into the kicking mix? How does Steyn manage to keep his jersey when he produces dog shite for numerous games but redeems it after one Super Rugby match(where it was debatable whether he outplayed Lambie)?

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.08.13 16:26:17 by Talent Reply
  • Right now we are reduced to relying on Steyn. He can butcher overlaps ,fall off tackles ,offer nothing to challenge defense but make his kicks and we say he is on form…

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.08.13 16:33:58 by Talent Reply
  • We don’t have a clear cut number two for most of our positions. They squandered many chances last year to establish a proper pecking order for positions. In New Zealand there is a clear chain of command. They are down to their 6th choice fly half and I’m sure they know who it will be. If Morne is injured or Jetlagged after France, Lambie to start and I have no idea who would cover on the bench.

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.08.13 17:18:44 by rumblo Reply
  • I think the title would read better if the word “need” were replaced with “is”

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.08.13 17:48:37 by Talent Reply
  • @Saffex (Comment 13) : I completely agree! My only issue is that Goosen is made of a very thin variety of glass. To be honest, I think Lambie is the future with the number 2 being some youngster who will hopefully pop his head up in the next year. Morné should not be in the squad, especially playing overseas.

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.08.13 22:00:09 by David12246 Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : To be honest, he looked damn good in his last 2 Sharks games this year, even at 12. The ONLY problem was his goal-kicking.

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.08.13 22:05:58 by David12246 Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 13) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 7) : The absolute best we have achieved with Steyn at 10 and ‘firing on all cylinders is beating the ABs by 3 points away from home. MARK MY WORDS THE SPRINGBOKS WILL NOT WIN THE RC WITH MORNE STEYN AT 10. (but this does depend on how many flyhalves the ABs actually do lose) – and on that point did you see how seamlessly Taylor slipped into the 10 jumper. That was their 4th choice flyhalf.

    Someone mentioned it above. Morne Steyn and the ’10 man rugby’ have produced a 60% win ratio over the last 4 years. Look at the most successful Bok side in the last 20 years.

    Joost, Honiball, Teichman era. Complete rugby. (until dick Mallett went ape shit dropping Teichman)

    “Springbok rugby will never dominate with Morne Steyn at 10”

    But I will still be at Suncorp next weekend cheering the lads on!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.08.13 04:19:11 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : @Talent (Comment 14) : I wrote that article last week or the week before and I said that Lambie is off form because he’s changed his style of play to try to ensure that he makes the Bok Squad.

    He’s trying to beat Morne Steyn at the kicking game instead of trying to play as a complete flyhalf.

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.08.13 08:34:34 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 29) : I agree with that statement. But he needs to be himself again. Lambie is awe when he plays his natural game.

    That said MS is the best we have at the moment.

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.08.13 09:13:39 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • What kind of result in the RC will it take for Meyer to maybe change something?

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.08.13 10:44:09 by rumblo Reply
  • @rumblo (Comment 31) : He wont ,he’s not wrong.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.08.13 13:11:00 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 32) : in his mind atleast

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.08.13 13:11:17 by Talent Reply

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