England

Lambie given 'freedom of the park'

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 06:39
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I want a little more attack from him
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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer continues to prove his doubters wrong, especially those who brand him as a dour, one-dimensional coach.

Not only has he given Patrick Lambie his third consecutive Test start at flyhalf, for what will be the 22-year-old's 20th cap, but he also left Morné Steyn out of the matchday squad - something the naysayers thought would never happen.

And now Meyer has left his critics with even more egg on their face.

He has told Patrick Lambie to "attack more" and "kick less".

This startling revelation was delivered by Meyer ahead of South Africa's final year-end Test, against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

It was widely believed that Lambie was playing under strict instructions to adhere to a one-dimensional kick-'n-chase game in the encounters with Ireland and Scotland.

Given that tactical kicking had never been the young player's strong suit, his poor out-of-hand kicking was blamed on Meyer.

Meyer revealed that Lambie will be given the 'freedom of the park', to play his natural attacking game, when the Boks tackle England on Saturday.

"It is always a huge ask for any player," he said of Lambie's role at Twickenham.

"There is always this perception, that if you put a player in the [Bok] team he will come in and be a world beater, run through everybody - it doesn't happen at this level.

"Defensive systems in the world, if you look at the tries score, it is really difficult to score tries."

However, Meyer feels Lambie could still be more effective by playing to his strengths.

"I have had a long one-on-one with Patrick and told him to just play his natural game," the Bok mentor said, adding: "He has always been a guy that takes on the line and played really flat.

"I felt he played a little too deep in the last two Tests, because of the conditions. He wanted to turn the opposition and put them in the corners.

"I said to him I want a little more attack from him, that is his natural game.

"He must just go out there and get the backline going.

"However, in saying that, the defensive systems have been awesome from the two previous Tests and England's defence is also great.

"It is also an improvement for Patrick, going forward, as a No.10 - he hasn't played there all that often.

"I have been happy with his two performances so far, but I do need a good performance from him on Saturday."

It will only be Lambie's fourth start at flyhalf in an international - he had one last year against New Zealand and the last two Test, against Ireland and Scotland.

The young player, who made his Test debut against Ireland in November 2010, has had six starts at fullback and 10 more caps off the bench.

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