After a rugby game like the one I witnessed, between the Sharks and Western Province, it makes me very proud that I support the Sharks. Two weeks ago I witnessed them outplay the ogreish Blue Bulls. The Sharks beat them by playing smart rugby and I realised that ‘golden boy’ Patrick Lambie, as fly-half, played a key role in that.
According to Wikipedia:
A fly-half is crucial to a team’s game plan. The fly-half is usually the one who calls set moves, or makes tactical decisions. Fly-halves need to be quick-thinking in a game, such is the speed at which a situation can deteriorate, and need to be able to communicate with all the backs and adapt them to the attacking or defending situation.
What makes Lambie even more remarkable, is that he only turned 20 about a week ago. If you go back and look at some of the key points on their last two games, Lambie made choices that changed the games for the Sharks. During the game today one of the commentators made a remark: “He has a head of someone 10 years his senior”. He hit the nail on the head with that remark because that is exactly I saw.
But admittedly he was not the only player on the field and the rest of the team played just as well, if not better. Players like Andries Strauss, Lwazi Mvovo & Charl McLeod have given the Springbok selectors something to think about next time round, even if they didn’t get selected for the end of year so-called ‘Grand-Slam Tour‘ to the northern hemisphere. Although grand-slam is not accurate unless we win all of the games, but that’s not really important.
After the post-game ceremony, the Springbok Team was announced, which was a moment to treasure, as 9 of the Sharks were selected in the thirty man squad. Four of the six previously uncapped players were from the Sharks. This is the first time in ages they have overtaken the all the other teams as the majority (the Blue Bulls have 8 players in the squad, Western Province have 6, Freestate Cheetahs have 4, the Golden Lions have 1 and 2 players are based overseas).
The Springboks’ fixtures are:
November 6 v Ireland (Dublin)
November 13 v Wales (Cardiff)
November 20 v Scotland (Edinburgh)
November 27 v England (Twickenham)
December 4 v Barbarians (Twickenham)
Tour squad (in alphabetical order. * Indicates new cap):
Gio Aplon (Vodacom Western Province); Age: 28; Test caps: 9
Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 23, 2
Juan de Jongh (Vodacom Western Province); 22, 6
Jean de Villiers (Vodacom Western Province); 29, 63
Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 22, 5
Bryan Habana (Vodacom Western Province); 27, 66
* Elton Jantjies (Xerox Golden Lions); 20, 0
Ricky Januarie (Vodacom Western Province); 28, 47
* Patrick Lambie (The Sharks); 20, 0
* Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks); 24, 0
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland); 26, 43
Frans Steyn (Racing Metro, France); 23, 39
Morne Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 26, 21
* Willem Alberts (The Sharks); Age: 26, Test caps: 0
Bakkies Botha (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 31, 68
Schalk Burger (Vodacom Western Province); 27, 63
* Keegan Daniel (The Sharks); 25, 0
Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks); 26, 32
Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks); 28, 20
Alistair Hargreaves (The Sharks); 24, 2
Ryan Kankowski (The Sharks); 25, 16
Victor Matfield (captain, Vodacom Blue Bulls); 33, 101
Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks); 25, 22
* Coenie Oosthuizen (Vodacom Cheetahs); 21, 0
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 24, 17
Juan Smith (Vodacom Cheetahs); 29, 65
Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 25, 37
Adriaan Strauss (Vodacom Cheetahs); 24, 7
CJ van der Linde (Vodacom Cheetahs); 30, 65
Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 25, 6
It really is a moment to be a truly proud Sharks supporter!