An argument for both Morne Steyn and young flyhalves

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 25 Nov 2013 at 13:35
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

I am a huge Lambie fan, by now everyone knows this. I feel the kid (by now I should say man), has huge potential and talent for a young player. And I don’t think I am the only one that feels this way. Since coming onto the scene Lambie has shown something we haven’t seen in South African flyhalfs for a while, innovation and vision, but surprisingly I have to agree with most comments recently, that Morne should be the man to continue as the incumbent with Heyneke Meyer. If Morne is on form and not playing like he did last year, and Meyer is the Bok coach, he has to play. Our backs barely ever see the ball and our flyhalf doesn’t do much more than kick for touch and line up those all important kicks at goal. This is not meant to be a criticism, merely an observation.

We see Jean de Villiers manning the flyhalf channel on many occasions, usually to take the ball up into the defense – this is when our forwards don’t take the ball up. Morne has a crisp pass and when there is space he will quickly shift the ball to Jean, who by now is used to the ball simply coming to him. He is the guy creating for this backline and who would argue Jean’s inclusion in this Bok side until at least the end of the 2015 World Cup?

The argument is that with the way the Boks are playing right now, you have to pick the best goal kicker in the country and that player is Morne (although he’s not even in the country anymore). He does what is asked of him better than any flyhalf in South Africa and he probably does this better than any of them, because he has been doing it for 50 games, more than any other Bok flyhalf before him. There may be better more innovative flyhalfs than Morne, but not better options, at this stage, to slot into that flyhalf spot for the Boks.

With goal-kicking being the main requisite for a Bok flyhalf, at this stage, it is also understandable that Johan Goosen is getting a look into the Bok team this early. Before really having consistently showed anything more than promise (his progress being severely hampered by injuries), the one thing we know about him for sure, is that he is excellent at kicking those goal kicks. And the exciting thing is, we are also seeing some innovation from him. With his promise in that flyhalf channel and his immaculate kicking record, it is no wonder the Springbok selectors have been so fascinated with him, as goal-kicking is still the most important attribute they are looking for in a Bok flyhalf.

Once the Boks want to be a little more creative and start building around a flyhalf that does more than kick and shift the ball to his inside centre, then we will have a stronger argument for a young innovative flyhalf, even before considering goal-kicking – No, I’m not saying Lambie, maybe Goosen (I personally need to see more of him though).

I completely understand Heyneke Meyer’s approach though and to a certain extent agree with it. In my opinion he is following the same framework Jake White did. Get the team back to basics. Play the game we are comfortable with. Playing with our forwards and dominating set pieces we will end up winners on most days. Meyer is building a team. Despite some criticism, I feel that he has done a good job in bringing in young talents, as well as keeping (bringing back) the core of veterans that teams need to win World Cups. Willie, JJ, Jan, Etzebeth and even Malherbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit have been given a taste of test rugby and is part of Meyer’s plans for the Boks. And despite criticism, having Bakkies on the bench when Etzebeth got injured, was insurance that I was relieved we could fall back on. Bakkies Botha, Fourie de Preeze, Jacque Fourie and JP Pietersen may not be in the same form they were 2 years ago, but keeping them part of the squad and available as an option, is sound thinking from the coach.

It is however disappointing for me that Heyneke Meyer has refused to play any of South Africa’s younger and arguably more naturally talented flyhalfs, when he had the opportunity – against weaker opposition, for example. How can we develop these guys for the future if they are gathering splinters on the bench?

Case in point – Last year Morne should have been benched for the England incoming tours, he was out of form and couldn’t hit water from a boat. Lambie / Jantjies / Goosen (all of whom in Meyers squad) should have been used.

Heyneke Meyer has identified Morne Steyn as his number 1. Fair enough, he’s been doing it for 50 games and Meyer trusts him to do the job. So play him of the bench to regain his form and start him again for the that 2012 Rugby Championship, but if his poor form continues sub him early and play Lambie / Jantjies / Goosen. Start these young players against our weaker opposition and if Morne still struggles with form they should be ready to start in the bigger games, until Morne regains some confidence and form or the young player even proves himself! Why not? Would it be the worst thing?

The same goes for this year.

Why not give Lambie game time against Italy, Samoa, Scotland, Argentina – The Boks had that game won in 30 minutes, yet Meyer brought Lambie on as a fullback for 8m minutes? (I only use Lambie, because he was the only one of the young flyhalf options in Meyer’s squad).

The argument of whether Morne is better than Lambie / Jantjies / Goosen / Demitri, is moot, because that is Meyer’s choice and clearly he fits better into his plans, but surely with the young flyhalves in South Africa showing more promise than we have seen in years, one or two of them should be developed for the future, this could also surely be done without risking results. Not developing young player for the future in key positions is criminal, not just for after the incumbent retires, but what if your first choice gets injured or loses form at a critical stage?

We have to congratulate Heyneke Meyer on a great year though, no matter what you think of the guy, or what the argument is about the strength of the opposition this year, only two other Bok squads managed better years and that says something. It’s not easy to be a coach, let alone the Sprinbok coach and I think Meyer is doing a commendable job up to this point, but I would urge him to give younger players more opportunity, especially the young flyhalvess we currently have in this country. We still have 2 years to go until the world cup, these players will all be around 25 years old by then, surely there is an argument to develop one of them as a good back up to step in for your first choice. They may even prove to be better and could be just be the man needed to steer South Africa to a third World Cup crown?


  • Nice one Letgo! This was a well-reasoned and very balanced article.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.11.13 13:55:44 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Yep, nice one. Good article.

    What is encouraging is how well we are executing simple things like carrying the ball into contact.

    I still feel Meyer needs to find more balance in his game plan, we kill quick ball playing a forward more than once or twice off 9.

    We need to use rush defense. I think its the most effective defensive structure in shutting down teams who like to operate in the small space between the back lines. You can’t allow the Kiwi’s time on the ball because they finish with ease. Perhaps adding double tackles and wrap tackles to this would help eliminate their offload game.

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.11.13 14:06:08 by Talent Reply
  • Re; Flyhalf, the article says it all. If we don’t find that balance, I’m not sure we will ever beat the All Blacks.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.11.13 14:07:59 by Talent Reply
  • I was surprised to read on Supersport this morning comments made my Meyer:

    “People don’t realise how much we have had to work on Pat Lambie this year. When he first joined us he was standing very deep, and we had to work on him standing flatter”

    I always thought Lambie took the ball to the line much better than Morne. Interesting that Meyer has critisised him for standing too deep?

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.11.13 14:14:34 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 4) : He started out standing flatter but once he was told that he needed to work on his tactical kicking he started taking the ball a lot deeper (probably to allow himself the time to make a good kick). I don’t know whether that was coaching or a subconscious thing.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.11.13 14:26:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 4) :

    I don’t get why Lambie has to stand flat when Morne Steyn has never done this in his life?

    Why would you set different standards for two players, is this just because he realize Lambie’s potential, or because people keep saying how much better Lambie is and wants let everyone know that Lambie actually wasn’t as good until he told he to play flat.

    And what is hard work? Did he continually just tell Lambie to play flat and he never did it in training, so he didn’t play him until this tour?

    That sends another very confusing message to me. HM needs a spoke person, because he’s just not getting he’s message across, I think.

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.11.13 14:29:02 by Letgo Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) :

    I don’t know how HM can really say this, it’s not like he really gave him any game time to see if he is improving. So last year EOYT Lambie stood to deep – And improved to the end of then tour, is HM saying they were working on that the whole year (without giving the guy a game at 10) and felt that he was only ready for the 2013 EOYT?

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.11.13 14:33:16 by Letgo Reply
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  • I’m glad HM is attempting to clear things up with the supporters though. I know, what does it matter right? Well, we are the people supporting him, so if he communicates his plan to us well enough, we might be more supporting and less critical.

    He’s struggling with the Lambie thing though. Maybe the less said about how he plays and why he’s played so little, the better.

    I was happy with the way he explained PSDT.

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.11.13 14:35:50 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 8) : You may not be too happy when you see what Gavin Rich says he said about PSDT.

    Meyer gave him an example of why PSDT wasn’t ready to lead the lineouts as the No 5 lock:

    Bakkies and PSDT were training together on this tour, and PSDT was calling the lineouts. Bakkies wasn’t keeping his spacing right, so PSDT (because he has so much respect for Bakkie) went over to him and politely and quitely asked him to change his spacing in the lineout. 😯

    Apparently this was a sign to HM that PSDT wasn’t ready to lead the lineouts yet because he should have been far more agressive and assertive 😯

    FFS… Really!!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.11.13 14:58:06 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 9) : I am sure even Flip is scared of Bakkies

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.11.13 15:02:22 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 6) : @Letgo (Comment 7) : Don’t undo the good work you did in the article by getting conspiratorial. I honestly don’t think it’s constructive to try and read between the lines here as it was a remark used to illustrate another point. We have no insight into the ways Meyer worked with and trained Lambie (or any other player) but I suspect we miss out on a heck of a lot of context during these training sessions. No use trying to piece together a puzzle when you don’t have all the pieces. He could be working on two completely different flyhalf strategies for all we know.

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.11.13 15:02:34 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 9) : Was under the impression that’s what Letgo was referencing. I thought it was a very valid explanation and one I had not thought about. To me that makes a lot of sense.

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.11.13 15:07:53 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 9) : Meyer’s words were actually: “But what we need from the guy running the lineout is someone who will be forceful and take charge.” Assertive maybe but not aggressive – at the very least your should strive to represent the comment accurately. Key positions in any situation (be it rugby or project management for that matter) require this from people. Achieving it at one level does not mean you’re necessarily ready for the next.

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.11.13 15:09:07 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 4) : @CS (Comment 9) :
    Your making this crap up as you go along, arent you?

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.11.13 15:15:22 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @vanmartin (Comment 13) : Is the guy who calls the lineouts also the lineout coach during practices?

    Surely what is more important is for the guy to be able to analyze the oppositions jumpers and then call the option that keeps the ball away from their best jumpers? Some of the most analytical people I have worked with are often also the least forceful in nature.

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.11.13 15:15:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 15) : The guy who calls the lineout commands the lineout and the buck stops with him. The coach is not available to convince his team members on their spacing during a match.

    “Some of the most analytical people I have worked with are often also the least forceful in nature.” My comment wasn’t a slight on analysts so I’m not sure what your point is here? Matfield was one of the best analysts in the game and no one ever doubted that he commanded the lineout. He was in charge.

    Let’s put it this way (using your example), were one of these analysts you’ve worked with tasked to run a big project or even the company, they wouldn’t be able to rely on their analytical skills alone . You’d find that they would either learn to assert their vision pretty quickly or get ‘relocated’ pretty quickly.

    Edit: It’s not promoting one skillset to the detriment of the other. It’s about becoming a more complete player and at Bok level that requires leadership in the area you’re responsible for. PSdT deserves to be in the Bok squad and he’s a leader, no doubt about it. All I’m saying is we need to allow him the time to grow as the next lineout kingpin.

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.11.13 15:26:15 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 13) :
    For me:

    Taking charge = assertive
    Being Forceful = aggressive

    (In the context of Rugby anyway)

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.11.13 15:28:02 by CS Reply

  • Just my thoughts. I think if you good enough you are old enough…and that works both ways on age! Just because a guy is a certain age we now want to get rid of him because we always seem to be planning for the next thing. Play each test on its merits, the world cup will take care of itself. As for the flyhalves, Steyn is at the moment the best so he must play. When he drops in form then Lambie gets a chance. This is not primary school where everybody gets to have a turn. However selecting Du Preez and Lambie is not a good idea as DuPreez likes to run then game and only when nothing is on does he shovel it to the flyhalf who is then expected to kick. lambie plays best when he is getting quick crisp ball from the base and can then challenge the defense. So if DuPreez s goign to play then please dont pick Lambie as it wont work. Likewise dont pick a guy like McCloed or Van Zyl and pair him with Steyn- wont work. ID love to see Hougaard bak in form and then pair him with lambie, even if they a combo off the bench.

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.11.13 15:30:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 11) :

    I’m sorry, but I’m having a pretty hard time with the Lambie thing.

    It’s hard when there’s not coming much through in the media, this is why I’m saying HM should rather not say anything about it. If he is giving us half the message, then that doesn’t help.

    It’s tough though, clearly he trying to make some sense of it to us “the readers”, which I appreciate, because the fact is, he’s only responsibility is towards the team, not the confused reader (me).

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.11.13 15:32:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : Yeah me too… kind of hoping Hougaard gets his mojo back this year when he returns from injury. we’re really lacking in the Scrummie department at this point (Pienaar just isn’t cutting the mustard for me), and I have a fear that DuPreez might get injured before the WC… and then what 😯

    Heaven forbid our only back-up is Schreuder!

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.11.13 15:36:45 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 9) :

    I thought that was a fair explanation. Clearly HM is trying to get the idea across to us by painting a picture and I thought the idea of PSDT walking up to Bakkies saying: “Oom ek dink jy staan in die verkeerder plek, sal jy asseblief vir ons spasie maak.” actually made a lot of sense to me, why HM maybe didn’t feel he is ready right now. I can’t imagine that Etzebeht would have done that.

    You need to be assertive from the word go. Doing it politely, to me, almost gives the impression that he is uncertain about himself, which at this stage would be 100% understandable.

    If he is going to call the line-outs everyone has to be 100% of what the call is and what Psdt wants from them. I think HM alluded to the fact that playing 5 lock is not simple and furthermore requires some leadership, which Psdt will grow into.

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.11.13 15:38:56 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 6) : Wow! That caught me off guard……nice article! What I’m been saying all the time…..steyn fit our style of play for now[maybe even till the worldcup]. Its up to the s15 teams and other flyhalfs to prove that they can be successful with another style of play before the bokke follow suit. I enjoy a article that look at both sides of the coin. Thumbs up!!!

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.11.13 15:40:39 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @CS (Comment 20) :

    It’s just to bad that HM played Hougie as mainly a wing. Especially given the lack of depth we have in this position, it is quite disappointing that he would shift a viable option to the wing. We’ll see what HM does when Hougaard gets back.

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.11.13 15:41:58 by Letgo Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : I always find it amazing how age is such a big thing to us Saffer’s… whether the guy is “too young” or “Too old”

    Compare us to the Kiwi’s… where half the team is as young as our youngest youngsters and the other half as old as our oldest ou toppies (I may have exaggerated a bit :mrgreen: )… and yet there is no fuss about age.

    Retalick I think is as young as PSDT and Estebeth, and yet it feels likes he’s been there forever. The same with Whitelock… I was surprised to see the guy is only 24!

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.11.13 15:42:45 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 9) : Stay away from heresay [rumors]

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.11.13 15:43:52 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : My point is we are working with professionals here. If so and so is the designated lineout caller, then the rest of the lineout bloody well fall in line with the call. No need for him to assert himself over them. It is not like Bismarck will execute 66782, if PSDT called 55345.

    Maybe HM feels that PSDT is not assertive enough and that shows a lack of confidence in his own decisions. He obviously had his reasons – I just sometimes finds the way his explains his picks quite strange and confusing.

    In the end he is the coach and he is getting the results (just no wins against the All Blacks to date).

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.11.13 15:44:14 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @CS (Comment 17) : You have every right to provide your own interpretation of Meyer’s comment but I think it’s only fair to provide the original quote too in that case. I have a different understanding of both of those terms (doesn’t mean my interpretation is right).

    @Letgo (Comment 19) : You have a point Letgo. I think, at the very least, Meyer has a limited responsibility regarding communication to fans. I sometimes wish he’d provide a little more insight because his comments are usually short and sweet. I have however made peace with that because he’s hired as coach first and foremost and his media persona is as with most coaches, an afterthought. I guess I’ve just started giving him the benefit of the doubt in these matters. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 25.11.13 15:47:52 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 26) : Personally I would like PSDT to complete a S15 season of running the Sharks lineout before I would even try him doing that in a Bok test.

  • Comment 28, posted at 25.11.13 15:48:07 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 22) :

    Cool, thanks. Wasn’t easy 😀

  • Comment 29, posted at 25.11.13 15:48:21 by Letgo Reply
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  • @KingsArmy (Comment 25) : Don’t shoot the messenger 😆

  • Comment 30, posted at 25.11.13 15:50:14 by CS Reply

  • Where’s vanmartin and vinchainsaw?

    They always make trouble, now they’re quiet?

  • Comment 31, posted at 25.11.13 15:53:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 27) : Fair enough… in my defence I read it at 6am this morning and tried to recall what was said when I made my comment without referring back to the original article… that’s why I’m not a journo (No journalistic integrity from me) 😆

    By the way… I’ve become a big supporter of Meyer. His team is playing good rugby (By SA Standards) and he looks like a man with a plan… which is more than anyone can ask for. We could never say the same about his predecessor.

    AND… he hasn’t played Kirchner at all this EOYT and hopefully Spies won’t be back too soon either… so that in itself is reason to rechoice. Right?

  • Comment 32, posted at 25.11.13 15:55:52 by CS Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 28) : Yah. A Super Rugby season under Jake White with the likes of Bissie, Marco, & Bresler (Anyone got any news on his recovery?), will give PSTD a massive boost when it comes to putting on green and gold again.

  • Comment 33, posted at 25.11.13 15:57:36 by gregkaos Reply
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  • In terms of the PSDT debate…i think we have short memories. The guy has been injured for most of the year. He had 2 Currie Cup games only before the end of year tour. So it would have been crazy to play him as a starting lock. I mean the guy has only just started to break into the Bok squad where we do have good locks. Yes PSDT will be a good player but give the kid a chance. Let him get at least a season under his belt before we want him to be our number 1 choice. I fully agree with how HM used PSDT this tour.

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.11.13 16:03:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • Just to come back to lambie…..nothing agaist the guy[steyn still my first choice] But any chance the fact that lambie is a well rounded player might be his downfall…..by that I mean steyn’s kicking, both tactical and goalkicking is worldclass; goosen’s goalkicking and running/getting his line away looks wordclass[from the little bit we’ve seen]; demitri looked good for the Kings, but we’ll see next year what he can do. Lambie can do abit off everything, but nothing stands out as wordclass as yet. Maybe he proves me wrong next year, sharks looks good on paper again and they got a top coach. Off all the young 10’s he’s starting of in poll position, but will he win the race??

  • Comment 35, posted at 25.11.13 16:12:32 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 34) : PSDT is only 1 year younger than Eben, and Eben has 23 caps.

  • Comment 36, posted at 25.11.13 16:14:19 by CS Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 26) : John Smit’s biography opened up my eyes to the fact that players don’t simply fall into line because coach says so or it’s the professional thing to do. As the arena gets bigger, so do the egos :mrgreen:

    @Letgo (Comment 31) : vanmartin was the first commenter in this thread, complimenting your article no less. 😉

    @CS (Comment 32) : No Kirchner and no Spies? Amen brother :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 25.11.13 16:14:31 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 34) : Spot on man! Feel the same, we always won’t to rush things. Had my doubts about coenie and bakkies, but they both ended the tour on a high with a good game. Same with willie in the NH, but he was good in all three games.

  • Comment 38, posted at 25.11.13 16:20:08 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 31) :

    Never fear letgo… I’m here.

    Not much to add really. Didnt think Steyn played particularly well over the weekend, but then didnt think Lambie did enough to unseat him either.

    PSdT – give the guy some time. He’ll be a Bok stalwart for years to come. No point in rushing the guy in.
    Thought Bakkies acquitted himself well again. There’s definitely been a sea change in the way he plays – have been impressed with his work ethic and attitude on this tour. Think he realised he actually needs to play for his place now and there’ll be no excuses for foul play.

    And no way is he too old – England played a 37 yearold in the last World Cup and he was one fo their best players.

  • Comment 39, posted at 25.11.13 16:20:17 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @CS (Comment 36) : Its not about age, its about playing time. Compare the playing time Eben has had in senior rugby to that of PSDT. I never said PSDT wasnt a good player. But he has just broken into Sharks side, he has been injured and is a new face in the Bok side. You cant compare to Eben who has been there 2yrs now. If PSDT remains injury free and on form then yes i would expect him to start on the End of Year tour next year.

  • Comment 40, posted at 25.11.13 16:20:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • Oh, and Letgo, one of your best articles to date.

  • Comment 41, posted at 25.11.13 16:21:18 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • EE has 23 Bok caps, PSdT has 2.

    They not really comparable – EE has played every game since he made his Bok debut. Got gifted an opporutnity and took it with both hands.
    PSdT got a bit unlucky with injuries. His time will no doubt come.

  • Comment 42, posted at 25.11.13 16:24:03 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Check out these guys:
    Brodie Retallick – 22 yrs – 24 caps
    Steve Latua – 22 yrs – 11 caps
    Charles Pitau – 22 yrs – 10 caps
    Beauden Barret – 22 yrs – 16 caps
    Sam Cane – 21 yrs – 14 caps

    The only reason Beauden and Sam don’t play more are because there are even better players above them in the pecking order.

    I really rate Beauden though… I believe his coming on helped turn the tide for the All Blacks against us at Ellis Park, and he did the same yesterday against Ireland. I would pick him for the Boks anyday… and I hate to say it, but I reckon he’s better than Lambie.

  • Comment 43, posted at 25.11.13 16:24:08 by CS Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) : Well put

  • Comment 44, posted at 25.11.13 16:25:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 43) : I’m a bit miffed that there’s such a capable replacement to Carter waiting in the wings. I was happy that all the other All Blacks flyhalf options were a little average compared to DC but then Barret came along… 🙁

  • Comment 45, posted at 25.11.13 16:29:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 42) : Yeah, the point is Eben was gifted an opportunity and he took it… whose to say PSDT wouldn’t do the same given the same opportunity?

  • Comment 46, posted at 25.11.13 16:30:22 by CS Reply

  • Regarding psdt and his playing time…..yes he will be a great player, he was injured and is still finding his feet, also some players mature earlier than others[not saying this is the case]. Some players peak at 25 and others play the best rugby off their live at 31….

  • Comment 47, posted at 25.11.13 16:33:57 by KingsArmy Reply

  • How’s this for the age of our team in 2015:

    1 Beast – 30
    2 Bismark – 31
    3 Jannie – 33
    4 Eben – 24
    5 Flip – 30 (Hopefully by then PSDT – 23)
    6 Louw – 30
    7 Alberts – 31
    8 Vermeulen – 29
    9 DuPreez – 33
    10 Steyn – 31
    11 Habana – 32
    12 DeVilliers – 34
    13 Jacques Fourie – 32
    14 JPP – 29 years
    15 Willie LeRoux – 26

    Average age 29.9 yrs

    Quite a bunch of old men hey!

  • Comment 48, posted at 25.11.13 16:37:01 by CS Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 37) :

    I’m thinking of someone else? Who is it?

  • Comment 49, posted at 25.11.13 16:37:59 by Letgo Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 46) :

    Well, we dont deal with “whats to say” when picking the Bok side.
    Generally places are staked by playing in the provincial competitions…

    Whats to say I couldnt be there if I got a bit fitter and grew about 2 foot?

    Thats why I said he’s time will no doubt come, but that injury set him back a season, possibly more if Bakkies carries on playing as he is.

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.11.13 16:39:49 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @CS (Comment 48) :

    I would think 29 is quite a comfortable average, no?
    We won the WC with an experienced side, as did England in 2003.

  • Comment 51, posted at 25.11.13 16:41:04 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • McLovin – That’s who I’m thinking about – I think he questioned whether I have a Lambie poster above my bed? 😆

  • Comment 52, posted at 25.11.13 16:41:44 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 41) :

    Thanks dude, it took quite some control of the emotions.

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.11.13 16:42:26 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @CS (Comment 48) :

    I think Willie is younger than 26, as far as I know 23/24

  • Comment 54, posted at 25.11.13 16:43:47 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 45) : That’s part of what makes the New Zealanders so infuriating… it seems there’s always some up and coming superstar ready at just the right time to replace their ageing superstar. Not fair!!

  • Comment 55, posted at 25.11.13 16:44:21 by CS Reply

  • I have not read all the comments on this article(TIME CONSTRAINTS) so someone else might have said what I’m going to say. @LETGO Lambie is the ONLY SA flyhalf that has been shifted from pillar to post. Jake’s article the other day. “I am going to play Lambie at flyhalf and only flyhalf.” Or something to that effect. Lambie has said as much that his preferred position is flyhalf and not full back. Whenever have Morné, Goosen or Jantjies been used anywhere else in the Bok team other than flyhalf? So WHY must Lambie keep having to chop and change? THAT is why his kicking is sometimes off.

    Now for my other point In 2007 SA WON THE WORLD CUP with the Full back Percy Montgommery doing alll the goal kicking. James directed the game brilliantly. The only reason DE Villiers feels he has to direct is because he knows Morné cannot. Morné is a useless tackler as well, but if 12 is always in the flyhalf channel then Morné is safe. SO we are playing with 14 players and then Morné takes the place kicks. When Lambie is at 10 we have 15 players and defenders and a number 10 with a head for the game.

    I rest my case. 💡

  • Comment 56, posted at 25.11.13 16:44:24 by [email protected] Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 54) : Yeah he is, but I was putting down 2015 ages… I was quite surprised to see how old our team will be by then

  • Comment 57, posted at 25.11.13 16:45:39 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 43) :

    Eben Etsebeth – 23 caps (22 yrs old)
    Siya Kolisi – 10 caps (22 yrs old)
    Marcell Coetzee – 15 caps (22 yrs old)
    Willie le Roux – 12 caps (24 yrs)
    PSdT – 2 caps (22 yrs)
    JJ Engelbrecht – 12 caps (24 yrs old)
    Pat Lambie – 32 caps (23 yrs old)

    Only reason some of these guys dont play more, is because there are even better players above them in the pecking order…

  • Comment 58, posted at 25.11.13 16:46:14 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 52) :

    Nope, that was me….

  • Comment 59, posted at 25.11.13 16:46:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @[email protected] (Comment 56) : If I was Lambie I’d rather play at 15 than not at all?

    Playing for your country is an honour, no matter what the position.

  • Comment 60, posted at 25.11.13 16:47:52 by CS Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 58) : Touche..

    However, that’s not completely true… cos apparently the reason some of them don’t play more is because they’re too young 😯

    My point though is how we always talk about easing the young guys in and saying “they will get their chance”… whereas if they’re good enough now then just play them, age shouldn’t be a factor at all.

    The same point I tried to make with Eben, he’s only a year older than PSDT and already has 23 caps… the difference, Eben is obviously a better player.

    I’m just trying to say, stop making age an excuse. If the guy isn’t good enough yet, or there is someone better than him in his position… then let’s rather say that… but this ongoing hang-up we have with having to ease in the “young” players” is really non sensical because the world is full of 22 year olds who are brilliant rugby players and ARE the best in their positions.

  • Comment 61, posted at 25.11.13 16:51:54 by CS Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 52) : nah I am now convinced you do have his poster on your bedroom wall after this article.how much more chance must Bambie be given at 10,he been playing at 10 for 4 years now and no great shakes at all after CC final 2010. You cannot trade on past glories and do you seriously think he good enough to win a RWC like Butchie. Also the Cat and The Goose have stepped up now what?

  • Comment 62, posted at 25.11.13 17:10:35 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @CS (Comment 61) : I couldn’t agree more in the age of big money rugby you either good enough at a young age or move along

  • Comment 63, posted at 25.11.13 17:16:41 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @CS (Comment 61) :

    Who says they’re too young?
    I cant recall anybody saying that.

    The reason these young guys are being eased in is because there are better (read: proven) players ahead of them.

    There’s an SA u/20 side each and every year. Should we just be chucking them in every single year?
    We’d change the side every 12 months.

    The average pro rugby player has a career of say 10 years.
    So, in a typical Bok side of 23, there will, on average, be 2.3 guys blooded every year. Thats simple maths.
    We’re ahead of that figure.

  • Comment 64, posted at 25.11.13 17:25:07 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @benji (Comment 63) :

    Thats not big money rugby – thats always been the case in South Africa.
    If you dont make representative sides before you leave school, then you may as well look at another career.

    Thats just the way the feeder systems work in SA.

  • Comment 65, posted at 25.11.13 17:26:11 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @[email protected] (Comment 56) :

    Thats a ridiculous argument.

    Lambie is being shifted from pillar to post, because he has not yet staked his claim to the flyhalf berth.

    As for us playing with 14 men – dude, pull the other one, its got bells on.

  • Comment 66, posted at 25.11.13 17:27:39 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 58) : pieter-steph is only 21

  • Comment 67, posted at 25.11.13 17:28:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 67) :

    Thanks pedant!

  • Comment 68, posted at 25.11.13 17:29:55 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I reckon Rob knows the ages of the Sharks players better than his own children!

  • Comment 69, posted at 25.11.13 17:30:24 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 52) : Probably a shrine. 😉

  • Comment 70, posted at 25.11.13 17:31:40 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 70) : or blow-up doll. 😈

  • Comment 71, posted at 25.11.13 17:33:37 by McLovin Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 64) : @VinChainSaw (Comment 65) : yes a killer for SA rugby, but in PSDT case he pure class and should be given more game time 2 years out,I just feel after His Majesty got klapped at Coca Cola a game I think he arrogantly thought he could win,has resorted now to calling back relics that were to old at the last RWC and seem more interested in blowing kisses at everyone than playing good rugby ,back the youngsters

  • Comment 72, posted at 25.11.13 17:34:55 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 65) : the cheating AB do back there youngsters quickly

  • Comment 73, posted at 25.11.13 17:36:54 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @benji (Comment 72) :

    Dude, Ive never been a Bakkies fan, but he’s playing great rugby at the moment.

    To claim otherwise, and then furthermore to leap to the conclusion that PSdT would do better despite a massive lack of gametime and experience, means your claims lose credibility in my eyes.

  • Comment 74, posted at 25.11.13 17:44:08 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @benji (Comment 73) :

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.

    Perhaps saying the ABs back their young players?

    I think I conclusively proved that we are on a par with them int hat respect. Refer
    @VinChainSaw (Comment 58) : AND
    @CS (Comment 43) :

  • Comment 75, posted at 25.11.13 17:45:18 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 65) : if I’m not mistaken Bakkies didn’t play cravenweek [not 100% sure] and he’s got plenty of bok caps and the french rate him as the best nr4 lock ever. So with hardwork there’s always hope. Like I said before some players peak early and others later. Shit happens…..lol

  • Comment 76, posted at 25.11.13 18:52:10 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 40) :

    Some solid comments.

    @VinChainSaw (Comment 42) :

    Test caps should not even be the yardstick, they have completely different roles.

  • Comment 77, posted at 25.11.13 18:54:36 by Morné Reply
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 76) :

    Dunno if he played Craven Week, but he did play for SA u/19 and u/23.

    I suppose he would’ve played Craven Week if he played SA /19?

  • Comment 78, posted at 25.11.13 18:55:16 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 77) :

    Yeah, but it was really just to illustrate my point.
    While PSdT was injured Etsebeth has played 20 odd games and made the position his own.

    PSdT didnt and now has to compete against Bakkies and Flip for the other spot in the second row.

    Just really illustrating how unfortunate that injury was for him and how he missed a big chance.
    If he hadnt been injured Id hazard a guess he’s also have double-digit caps by now and we wouldnt be having this debate.

  • Comment 79, posted at 25.11.13 18:57:34 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 76) :

    BTW – have been following Bakkies at Toulon. He’s been immense.

  • Comment 80, posted at 25.11.13 18:58:12 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Wow – was just reading through Bakkies wiki page.

    He’s won – 3 Currie Cups, 3 SuperRugby titles, the World Cup, the Trinations and the Heineken Cup!

    Thats a pretty solid career!

    All he needs is the French top14 and he’ll have won every trophy he could in senior rugby, sometimes several times.

  • Comment 81, posted at 25.11.13 18:59:55 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 69) : I have children?

  • Comment 82, posted at 25.11.13 19:21:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 82) :
    Your wife certainly does.

  • Comment 83, posted at 25.11.13 19:41:42 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 83) :

    Lol, comedy gold, Mr. Fish.

  • Comment 84, posted at 25.11.13 19:47:46 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • If Bok rugby is to progress, we need a creative 10…….Morne is not that. The only answers at 10 are Goosen and Lambie……with Goosen holding the edge.

    If I was Bok coach, Morne would not smell my squad

  • Comment 85, posted at 26.11.13 01:58:28 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 85) : And yet so many of these bloggers argue that, Lambie and co dont get selected because ‘thats not SA style of rugby’ or ‘his game doesnt suit the Boks’….and that is the problem.

    1 Dimensional play hasnt given us a successful record against the best for 20 years or more…How can that not be obvious to most???

    The guys that can do more than what is required are the ones we need to groom….Etzebeth (strength and pace), PSDT (strength, pace, skills), Le Roux (elusive, vision), Lambie (attacking vision, top D for 10), Goose (big boot, attacking vision)…im missing a few but still

  • Comment 86, posted at 26.11.13 05:40:27 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 66) : Dominating pressure games IS STAKING HIS CLAIM. Not being afforded the chance to translate that at test level does not mean he has not ‘staked his claim’.

    To be honest (and I by no means believe FB is his position) Lambie staked his claim as starting 15 at the world cup with a string of good performances. Just to start with…

    Since then he was given 3 starts at 10 in a team that, unless we are really naive, was under performing. Three games which we sill won btw thanks in no small part to his kicking…I dont see the chance where he could have staked his claim???

    He did play well vs Scotland as well

  • Comment 87, posted at 26.11.13 05:47:37 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Wow, this is a really well-written, balanced article; well done Letgo!

    Having said that, I cant help but feel like everyone is missing the bigger picture here; Mr. Cat & the Jackal are embarking on a nationwide tour! And they will be playing two dates in Durban!! Under roof!!! So rain should not be an issue!!!! AND they’re coming to Bronkhorstspruit!!!!! So I can watch them!!!!!!!

    Ok, back to the rugby *yawn*

  • Comment 88, posted at 26.11.13 07:44:36 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @pienaar111 (Comment 86) :

    I actually agree with you, but also don’t think changing the game now, with this coach, would do any good.

    A coach has to be 100% confident in his game plan and HM is that in the current gameplan. I’m not saying it won’t evolve a little with HM at the helm, but probably not much.

  • Comment 89, posted at 26.11.13 08:02:11 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @benji (Comment 62) :

    4 years is a bit misleading – it should be 4 years 5 games, that just gives it some perspective, some players may have been able to “stake a claim” with that amount of opportunity. I mean, at least he got a shot right, but clearly if Lambie is going to “stake a claim” he is going to need more games. Some players need only one game, clearly that hasn’t been enough for Lambie, because I agree, nothing he has done over those 4 years at 5 games (at 10), has said that he just has to be the first choice.

  • Comment 90, posted at 26.11.13 08:10:02 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I really cannot understand the debate here. If you are honest with yourself and have actually watched rugby this year you will know that Steyn is the better form flyhalf than Lambie- yes Lambie has quality but needs to push harder if he wants a place. Flip VD MErwe is playing damn good rugby which is why he is a head of PSDT, same applies to Bakkies. So yes PSDT is a good player but he has to prove that consistently in order to force his way in. Same with Goosen- good player but not really good player gets to play for the Boks, you have to force your way in with consistent good performances. And no 2 or 3 games is not consistent! So its not about easing youngsters in or anything like that. Its about playing the guys that are number 1 in their position. And 10 wins from 12 shows that we doing something right. Yes we not No. 1 well boo frikken hoo! You cannot win every game and there are no guarantees that playing the ‘kids’ will make us no.1 If we want these guys in the side then get down to the stadium for S15 and CC games and cheer them on so that they do produce the goods that gets them selected instead of just moaning from the couch.

  • Comment 91, posted at 26.11.13 08:17:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 70) : @McLovin (Comment 71) :

    😯 – It seems my “balanced article” to throw you of the track, din’t work at all.


  • Comment 92, posted at 26.11.13 08:21:45 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • People that say that South Africa has always played with a kicking no 10 is a bit disillusioned. It is only really in the modern times that we have done so. A trend started by the wrong-full branding of Naas Botha as only a kicking flyhalf. The Boks have actually played some of the best rugby with all round and creative flyhalfs. Stransky, Honiball and Butch James are just the names in the modern era that has stood out (And made even more awesome by the fact that they were all Sharks players :mrgreen: ) Lambie just needs to work on his place kicking, something that was always a strong point of his until Louis Koen got hold of him.

  • Comment 93, posted at 26.11.13 08:39:57 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 91) :

    Firstly, I’ve always been under the impression that flip is a 4 lock, I could be wrong, but isn’t that where he has always ran out for the Bulls and until Eben took over at 4, played with Andries Bekker for the Boks?

    I get that he is playing ahead of PSDT right now, but that’s only because he’s more experienced. I don’t know that he will always play 5 lock for the Boks. Maybe HM made this swap permanently now, I’m not sure.

    And also, you have to be careful to make the consistent good performances argument, because last year Morne’s performances in S15 and then for the Boks, was by far the worst of any SA flyhalf and he HM continued playing him. Coaches don’t always select players only on form, when the trust a player more than another or believe in that player, they will easily back that player over the ‘form’ player.

    Coaches have their favorites and they will back those guys over most other players. Lambie and any other SA flyhalf, will have to do something really special to unseat Morne, good consistent performances won’t do it.

    Sometimes coaches spots players that’s just good on first look and they get their shot before having to play consistently good. If Goosen didn’t break so often, he could have been one of these players, clearly HM rates him like this. Eben in a way was one of these players – HM could have easily kept him on the bench and played Flip and Kruger as his starters, but he didn’t. Maybe if PSDT didn’t get injured the same could have happened for him, but given his limited opportunities on this tour, I highly doubt it.

    Who knows where Ryan Kankowski could have been if a bok coach spotted him and decided – Hey, this kid has talent, I’m gonna back him to prove that at international level. Say what you want, not one of our bok coaches really believed that kanko could be great and therefore never really backed him to make that 8 jersey his own. If 7 starts in 8 years is backing a player, then sure, but I’d have to disagree with you.

    But hey, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

    There’s plenty of players coaches just have a “feeling” about and then backs them more than they would another guy that has been consistently “good”.

    It doesn’t always pan out either, but lets be honest, these players the coaches just seem to believe in and stand behind to make it (not specifically based on years of consistent performances), have a better chance of making it than those that only gets a look in on occasion.

    And hey, if you’re the coach, you have that power.

    Jake White has said in one of his interviews, the one thing he loves about coaching is identifying young talent and backing that talent to grow into rugby greats. If a coach picks you up like that and backs you like that, you have a way better chance than the next guy.

  • Comment 94, posted at 26.11.13 08:46:21 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Steyn has been infinitely better this yr than last yr, and deserves his place as first choice.
    But, with everyone and their kitchen sink agreeing that he does and always has stood too deep, I find it laughable that the Bok coach now says in fact, it is Lambie that has always been standing too deep?? Now that is nonsense.
    Yes, he started standing too deep this yr ever since Meyer got his claws into him to play a better kicking game, which is fine but he was then struggling to vary his alignment.
    Meyer has been quoted as saying “I don’t think people realise how much we have had to work with Pat. He was lining up way too deep when he first came to us, and we have had to get him to play closer to the gainline. He is starting to do that now and I have been really happy with his progress” This implies that he has had this problem since the beginning, which completely incorrect in my opinion. I agree with the author here, perhaps if he lacks the communication skills to explain himself properly, he shouldn’t say anything at all.

  • Comment 95, posted at 26.11.13 08:50:36 by neilster Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 93) :

    Then maybe we didn’t play 10 rugby, but we always played forwards dominant rugby and HM, has always gone for forwards dominant and a 10 that can kick, so this is the way he will play and feels comfortable coaching his team.

    Also HM believes Morne is a good attacking, running, passing flyhalf – so the chances of anyone replacing him in the HM reign, is highly unlikely.

    Also, I don’t think HM shares everyone’s opinion about Lambie. A few people believe Lambie has something special, I think that is way he was selected for the Boks at such a young age, but HM, I think, continued with him because he was part of the squad, a good utility player, a save option and maybe he believed he had some potential, but I don’t think he sees what some others might see in Lambie.

    I think it is different with Goosen. He seems desperate to give him a go.

    Btw … this is just my view of it, I could be completely wrong, but that is how I see it.

  • Comment 96, posted at 26.11.13 09:02:38 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 94) : I do understand that coaches back certain players but we also have to realise that i coach isnt going to drop his believed number 1 just to put in a new guy thats had a few decent performances. not when the team is winning, not a chance. The thing that gets me is that we say we must play the youngsters etc so we can build and give them experience. Well we always seem to be building. Why cant we play each and every test match on its merits and back our structures that the talent will come through. International level is not the place to bring through and give players experience. Every test we must select our best no matter age or race. But just because a guy has a few decent games doesnt mean he should all of a sudden replace the number 1. And even if the number 1 has a couple poor games he shouldnt just be dropped unless the guy replacing him has been outstanding. Because if we do drop him then his replacement should also get the axe if he has a poor game. That makes no sense.

  • Comment 97, posted at 26.11.13 09:06:24 by SheldonK Reply

  • @neilster (Comment 95) :

    That frustrates me too, but just something I know picked up in the way you stated that argument.

    “Yes, he started standing too deep this yr ever since Meyer got his claws into him to play a better kicking game, which is fine but he was then struggling to vary his alignment.”

    But wouldn’t you agree that it is important for a flyhalf to improve his kicking game, lets assume that this was in fact something Lambie had to work on and as he started improving in this area he started standing deeper and deeper in the pocket, should HM not have urged his young flyhalf to improve his kicking game?

    So in saying they had to work on Lambie to stand flatter, maybe we need to be looking at the bigger picture.

    He was standing flat when he came to HM, but he wasn’t satisfied to play Lambie until he improved his kicking game, Lambie then worked on his kicking game, but this in turn affected his natural running game, and maybe now HM is working on getting Lambie to still take the ball flat, while also knowing when to stand deep or even being able to take the ball flat and still being able to implement a kicking game.

    He didn’t completely convey that in his quote, but if we try to give him the benefit of the doubt, then maybe we could come up with it all by ourselves.

    I thought in 2012 Lambie had a great year in S15, but I have to admit, his kicking game was behind other quality flyhalfs. This year Lambie managed to control games with his boot, but his influence as a runner, was few and far in-between. Hopefully, if what I derived from what HM said, Lambie will be a more rounded player next year.

  • Comment 98, posted at 26.11.13 09:13:13 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 98) : Agree mostly, there is no doubt that his kicking game needed work, and I would love to give Meyer the benefit of the doubt here, particularly so if he explained that it was the Bok coaching that made him start standing too deep to start with 🙂 The thing is, when you start a sentence with “People don’t realise…” its hard to paint the picture a different colour.

  • Comment 99, posted at 26.11.13 09:20:02 by neilster Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 97) :

    I agree with you.

    What you have to remember is that I believe Lambie has been more than just good (you didn’t read the comments, it has been established that I have s shrine of him in my room 😉 ), so if I was the coach I would have replaced the no 1, to see what the player that I believe in, could do – the way I believe HM will do with Goosen once he is fit for an extended period. I predict Goosen will start at 10 for most of the incoming tours. Granted if Lambie is outstanding and Goosen is poor in S15 2014, then maybe this won’t happen, but if they both phave good seasons, HM will give Goosen the 10 jersey ahead of Lambie.

    Just like HM gave the 4 jersey to Etzebeth ahead of flip, who as far as I know was the incumbent at that stage, I believe HM will give Goosen a decent shot. Not necessarily to displace Morne, but just to get a good idea whether he is capable of doing so.

    Like I said, at some point you just have to accept that coaches has their own picks, they’ll pick guys out, that they feel is the best and back those guys and unless those guys screw up royally, they will continue getting the coaches backing – take Pier Spies as an example. I don’t think he ever delivered on his promise, but his a 50 test cap Springbok.

  • Comment 100, posted at 26.11.13 09:22:36 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 96) : I think proof will be in the pudding after next year’s SR. Lambie will be playing behind a beast of a forward pack. I just hope the Sharks will now finally employ a full time kicking coach. But I’m sure the Great White Shark will be able to utilize all of Lambie’s skill, I mean if he could make that Aussie look good then I can’t wait to see what he can get out of Lambie.

  • Comment 101, posted at 26.11.13 09:22:49 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @neilster (Comment 99) :

    You’re right. The people don’t realize was a stupid think to say. How could we realise it? We’ve never been communicated anything of the sort and it has always been a known fact that Lambie likes to stand flat and take on the gain line.

    I’m telling you, it’s a communication gap, we just have to decipher it as we go along.

  • Comment 102, posted at 26.11.13 09:24:58 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 101) :

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hopeful that Lambie will have an excellent season and prove people wrong (or right), but for now with the gameplan the Boks are playing, it is still best to have a solid kicking flyhalf over another flyhalf.

  • Comment 103, posted at 26.11.13 09:29:00 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 100) : Well i hope HM uses Goosen if fit and Lambie as his 2 flyhalves for the June tests. But hM has said he will continue to pick overseas based players so will see. Im still not convinced that Goosen will last any length of time before he gets injured- he was made to play before he was conditioned enough so will be a constant injury worry. Lambie does well in that he takes the ball to the line…but if he doesnt have guys running lines he will get caught in possession, as happened often in the tests he played. As for Spies, I dont think he is a bad player but his defense needs work. I also hope that Kanko has a big s15 but i dunno how much game time he will get at the Sharks. Im also keen to see if Burger can get fit. And watching Juan Smith play in France he is also getting back into it. Yes these guys are older but if they good enough then they old enough.

  • Comment 104, posted at 26.11.13 09:41:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • Hey I’m a team captain! Cool! 😀

  • Comment 105, posted at 26.11.13 10:00:46 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Think we shouldn’t worry too much what get said in the media…..coaches don’t like the media, mostly cause just like fans, the media think they know rugby but we actually know jack shit what goes on behind the scenes to win a game. Still trying to find out what pdivvy said at times. Remember jwhite saying a fetcher is someone that fetch him a beer from the fridge, and then went to the brumbies and played two fetchers in the same team…..lol they all do it!!

  • Comment 106, posted at 26.11.13 10:32:38 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 105) : well done and well deserved.

  • Comment 107, posted at 26.11.13 10:39:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Letgo (Comment 89) : Yeah I agree with that.

    I just wish he would be willing to seek more of a balance. He has improved but still…

    1 Thing I havnt mentioned yet is that Heyneke Meyer is STREETS ahead of PDivvy in that he has installed structure and passion in the Boks and you can, to a large degree, know what to expect from the boks. They wont be poor…They will be solid or better under Heyneke Meyer. PDivvy mixed the brilliant with the woeful (often in consecutive matches) which frustrated everyone even more.

  • Comment 108, posted at 26.11.13 10:42:38 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 107) : Talking about well done, I believe you owe me a trophy, this year’s sharksworld pool, ITM Cup?

  • Comment 109, posted at 26.11.13 11:02:25 by Greg Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 106) :

    Fetchers wasn’t so much of an issue back then, the game was blown differently, but it was still a little peculiar at the time. I did later on read that the comment was taken out of context, as Jake was implying that he didn’t think one player in the team would be given that tag, but rather that every player needs to take a certain degree of responsibility for that.

    Anyway, it would do Meyer good to get some sort of media liaison type of thing, who can help him get the message across better, because I think it would make a coach’s life a lot easier, if he was able to convey what he is trying to do with the team (without giving away any secrets), to the supporters.

    Heyneke is very passionate about Bok rugby, that’s one thing we know, so what really turned me around is when I stepped back and realized, this guy just wants to do good for this team. So I’m just trying to figure out the good he is trying to do in every action he takes, but it’s sometimes hard to figure out from what angle he is coming from.

  • Comment 110, posted at 26.11.13 11:03:37 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 110) : hear what u saying, just think this is nothing new and will always be part of rugby. For coaches to talk rugby to fans and the media is like einstein explaining the theory of relativity to a primary school kid…..they hate it! Lol

  • Comment 111, posted at 26.11.13 11:42:07 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 110) : Noooo. If you realy want to hear BS, then add in a media person.

  • Comment 112, posted at 26.11.13 11:54:59 by MysticShark Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Letgo (Comment 110) :

    HM doesnt work for you. So long as SARU and his players understand what he is doing and where they stand, and they’re happy with that, then its job done.

    He is under about as much obligation to explain to you what he is doing as Vin Diesel is to explain why he keeps on doing Fast & Furious movies.

  • Comment 113, posted at 26.11.13 12:04:07 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 113) :

    I didn’t say he is obligated, I said, I thought it might make it a little easier for him, as I don’t think it is easy being the coach with criticism flying at you left and right.

    This is why I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and look at his moves from a positive perspective – even if he has a hard time (or just doesn’t care), explaining it to the supporters through the media.

  • Comment 114, posted at 26.11.13 12:19:55 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Hopefully 2014 will see young Fred Zeilinga making the Springbok flyhalf nightmare even more debatable. This guy has impressed me just as much as Goosen has when he wasn’t broken. It has been a long time since the last time I saw a flyhalf put his fellow players into gaps with pin-point passing. His kicking game was also spot-on in the first half on the Currie Cup.

  • Comment 115, posted at 26.11.13 13:25:12 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Bite me (Comment 115) : Zeilanga for the Boks after a couple decent CC games…eish im glad you are not a Bok selector. And how many games has Goosen played inbetween being injured?

  • Comment 116, posted at 26.11.13 13:52:12 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 114) :
    You need to recognise when you’re being trolled.

  • Comment 117, posted at 26.11.13 13:57:46 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @SheldonK (Comment 116) : I think Goosen has played about 19 minutes of rugby since leaving school.


  • Comment 118, posted at 26.11.13 14:04:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 116) : I did not say that he will be picked but if he continues to get some game time and does the good things better and cut out on the silly mistakes, he is just as good a contender as Goosen. I even suspect that he has had more game time with the Sharks than what Goosen has had for the Cheetahs or Dimitri has had for Province. Both these guys have been named as contenders.

  • Comment 119, posted at 26.11.13 14:09:23 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Bite me (Comment 115) : hello from Mrs Z and glad to see you agree that my boy is master class ,he has kop as well as skills u can’t coach,he should be given the chance and not bambie,The Cat and The Goose are both very good but not the skills of Fred Z

  • Comment 120, posted at 26.11.13 16:09:33 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • If skapie is as good as some sharks supporters think, he should play 80min, like steyn did for the bulls and no other contender will really get a look in. U never take a great flyhalf off the field. One of them is gonna get nailed…..if they sub lambie, he’s not the big match winner everyone thinks, if they don’t….how long will freddie stay??

  • Comment 121, posted at 26.11.13 16:29:28 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 121) : Can just hope that Jake White continues with the rotation system started with good results by Brendan Venter. As we have been debating with Morne Steyn and Lambie over the last couple of weeks, I would stick to my statement that both needs game time. What will happen if Lambie gets injured?

  • Comment 122, posted at 26.11.13 16:44:39 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Bite me (Comment 122) : not sure what the plan is,but just thinking that if demitri and goosen stick their hands up at their respective teams they might play 80min…..that’s what ur most important players do. Finishing a game off in the last 15min can teach u a lot about a player.

  • Comment 123, posted at 26.11.13 16:58:24 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 121) : Pah thats a pathetic theory 😆 So Meyer subs Steyn with Lambie?What does that mean?

    Perhaps it could just be one coaches preference or philosophy? 😆

  • Comment 124, posted at 26.11.13 17:07:10 by Talent Reply
  • @Bite me (Comment 122) :
    “What will happen if Lambie gets injured?”

    Life will move on and the search will begin to find a flyhalf that can fill his shoes.

    Lambie might get 40 minutes while the search continues… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 125, posted at 26.11.13 18:49:21 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 124) : how many times was steyn sub over the last 5 years…..bokke or bulls, not many. Same go’s for stransky; naas; and a lot of top flyhalfs….bet u if demitri has a good season he’s not coming off.

  • Comment 126, posted at 26.11.13 18:51:12 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Imagine lambie has a average game and fred came on and has a great game…..that will just put more pressure on lambie….the last thing any coach want to do to his flyhalf. Don’t see white giving fred to many games. Just my opinion…..

  • Comment 127, posted at 26.11.13 19:04:55 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Interesting. I’ve just asked my kiwi colleagues which south african flyhalf (Springbok or Super Rugby) they fear the most.

    So far its been unanimously in favour of Morne Steyn.

    Granted this was after I told them they could not choose Henry Honiball!

  • Comment 128, posted at 26.11.13 19:59:28 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 126) : he wasn’t even the definite starter in the last world cup. It was the tri nations game before hand where he was chosen over the degenerative Butch James. Poor theory bud.

    @gregkaos (Comment 128) : If you had to ask Dan Carter he would probably have said Butch James

  • Comment 129, posted at 26.11.13 20:25:24 by Talent Reply
  • @CS (Comment 4) : Possibly a bit of confusion. Morne stands deeper than any flyhalf in the world. Possibly only Naas stood deeper. Maybe Lambie thought because of the style of play Meyer was getting the boks to play that was what was required of him. It seemed from watching Lambie playing under Meyer that was expected from him so Meyer’s comments don’t make any sense at all.

  • Comment 130, posted at 26.11.13 21:14:28 by markp Reply

  • Good article and I can’t agree more. With the current style of play Meyer prefers, Steyn is the best at it. I am not a fan of Steyn as I do not like that style of rugby. Watch my words, the Boks will never beat the current AB’s playing this style of rugby. So do the math, with Morne at No.10 we will not beat the current AB’s so that means no World Cup and no Rugby Championship title. Unless of course some diabolical refereeing sees someone beat the AB’s during the World Cup when the tournament depends on one game. It can happen, the AB’s v France and more recently SA v Australia. That means unless we expand our game more we will always be the bridesmaid. Is this good enough for Meyer? I hope not!!!

  • Comment 131, posted at 26.11.13 21:23:51 by markp Reply

  • @markp (Comment 131) : sorry I don’t agree. We played an expansive game against the Kiwis and although we did brilliantly they were better. I truly believe that had we stuck to our natural springbok game we would have beat them at Ellis park. with regards to world cup… to me it looks like the Boks handled NH conditions far better than the abs.

  • Comment 132, posted at 26.11.13 23:37:45 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 118) : Are you including warm up time in that Rob? [email protected]Bite me (Comment 119) : I dont think Zeilinga is bad but u cant compare him after a few CC games with guys like Lambie/Catrikilis and even Goosen-altho Goosen shouldnt be part of it as he also hasnt played much. Give Zeilinga time- remember he will be possibly on S15 bench or playing Vodacom Cup next year.

  • Comment 133, posted at 27.11.13 08:00:36 by SheldonK Reply

  • @markp (Comment 131) : Totally disagree bro! To try and out run the AB is madness. The only way to beat them is to smother them by keeping it tight and lots of kicking. Our forwards can match theirs and we’re better then them in the air. Those moari’s don’t like turning around and are [email protected] catching up-and-unders. The first game we got a redcard and beating the AB with 14 men is never on…..in the 2nd game we’re tried to play running rugby for that bonus point and got our asses handed to us. There was about 5 penalty kicks we didn’t take. Gameplan is right…..players is right….we just need to execute it better!

  • Comment 134, posted at 27.11.13 09:43:38 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 132) :

    Wouldn’t you agree that maybe if we could scale down on the expansive of that game and combined it with a bit of our ‘standard-forward-dominance-game’ and learn to up the defense even when the game gets a bit loose, we will have a more balanced game and will be even more likely to beat the All Blacks?

    Remember beating the All Blacks at Ellis Park is something the Boks are quite used to, so losing that game was actually quite surprising, but will we beat them with our predictable gameplan in the World Cap? I’m not so sure that we could.

  • Comment 135, posted at 27.11.13 09:44:58 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 134) : @Letgo (Comment 135) :

    See my previous comment. Don’t you think it would be better to lean to a more balanced game?

  • Comment 136, posted at 27.11.13 09:47:20 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KingsArmy (Comment 134) : Better than them in the air – did you watch the RC at all? Ben Smith owned us in the air – he collected almost every kick he chased.

  • Comment 137, posted at 27.11.13 09:56:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 135) : Yes absolutely! When we can combine our forward game with the attack we showed at Ellis park I truly believe that we will regain the number 1 spot. We’re not quite ready but the signs are there that it’s coming together.

  • Comment 138, posted at 27.11.13 10:10:34 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @SheldonK (Comment 133) : I am not comparing him to anyone, he has just shown a lot of skill and temprament in the couple of games he has played. He might have had more game time than Johan Goosen and we have been comparing him to the likes of Lambie and Steyn. Catrikilis has not impressed me thus far. Maybe a full season as 10 for Province might change my mind.

  • Comment 139, posted at 27.11.13 10:23:17 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @Letgo (Comment 136) : A more balance gameplan does look better, will it be good enough to beat the AB….I/no one knows. A one dimensional gameplan isn’t that bad. Knowing what one team will do doesn’t mean the other team will be able to stop them. The bulls won 3 superrugby trophies with one dimensional rugby. No SA team has won it with a balance gameplan. Pdivvy have won the AB three games in a row with one dimensional rugby. One dimensional have proven it self…..balance not yet. Let’s wait till it does….

  • Comment 140, posted at 27.11.13 11:10:51 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Bite me (Comment 139) : Yeh i do get what u mean. Zeilinga does have a lot of good attributes- the best being his distribution and he isnt scared to take the ball to the line, much like Lambie does. Goosen also challenges the line, well in the little bit he actually plays. Catrakilis plays a lot deeper and just seems to shovel the ball onto his centres. But players like Lambie, Zeilinga and Goosen needs scrumhalfs that get them the ball early. So yes Fourie DuPreez is good but him in combo with those guys would mess up the 10s games. DuPreez would suit Catrikilis though.

  • Comment 141, posted at 27.11.13 11:22:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • I think we would all like to see some more running from our bokke, but it maybe a bit much to ask. Think about our s15 teams…..the strms are all about defense, they wouldn’t know a bonus point if it bit them on the ass; the tahs are all about running rugby, but got nothing to show for it; the bulls structured rugby bag them three trophies; the sharks under plum haven’t had a definitive gameplan to talk about, not that it matters….nothing to show either.[Maybe white will change that]. Unless they all start playing a similar game it will always be an adjustment for half of the team. But maybe they all surprise us in 2014…..strms got a good flyhalf and with applon and kolby they have to attack more; hopefully tahs got goosen for the whole season and their pack is starting to look really good; the bulls got no more steyn,
    with a young team, especially 10 12 13; sharks got white[enough said]…..exciting stuff!!

  • Comment 142, posted at 27.11.13 12:12:00 by KingsArmy Reply


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