'King' Carlos to polish 'Prince' Pat

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:45
Large carlosspencersharks Large butchjamessharkstraining2 Large maybru logo630 Large spencer and lambie630 Large carlosspencersharksboxing Large patlambiesharkstraining6 Large franssteynsharkstraining4 Large meyerbosmansharkstraining4 Large riaanviljoensharkstraining2 Large louisludiksharkstraining4

The recruitment of former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer could be a masterstroke by Sharks coach John Plumtree.

The recruitment of former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer could be a masterstroke by Sharks coach John Plumtree.

It was revealed last week that the ex-Lions assistant coach has linked up with the Durban side for this year’s Super Rugby tournament. “King” Carlos at Kings Park? It certainly sounds like a perfect match.

Spencer has been roped in to impart his unique pivotal prowess and share his in-depth knowledge of flyhalf play, primarily with Pat Lambie but also the Springbok prodigy’s provincial understudies.

Considering his astute mentorship of Elton Jantjies during his time at the Lions, the Spencer-Lambie partnership could be the catalyst for the Sharks to capture their maiden Super Rugby title this year.

Perhaps even more exciting is the possible impact the collaboration could have on Springbok rugby. Spencer’s tutelage could well lead to Lambie’s transformation from multitalented playmaker to polished pivot and finally put to bed the ongoing debate over where Lambie’s long-term future lies.

A full, injury free season at flyhalf with Spencer as mentor could elevate the 22-year-old from a good flyhalf to a great flyhalf.

Granted, Spencer as a player lacked the tactical and goal-kicking nous of a Jonny Wilkinson and a Dan Carter, but the four seasons he spent with Northampton Saints significantly improved his ability and understanding of tactical flyhalf play.

Propelling the struggling side back into the Premiership and being acknowledged as the Saints Player of the Year in 2005-06 is a testament to his tactical progression during his 102-match spell in Europe, and his experience of wet, slippery northern hemisphere fields as well as fast, dry southern hemisphere pitches will further benefit Lambie.

However, it’s the prospect of Lambie being equipped with Spencer’s trademark flair, inventiveness and vision with ball in hand that will most concern opposition coaches.

While Lambie will be Spencer’s pet project, the Sharks backline as a whole – already a handful for the most resolute of defences – will also bear fruit from the New Zealander’s presence.

There’s no-one an attack-orientated coach would rather have to bolster his backline’s bag of tricks than one of the greatest attacking flyhalves the game has ever seen.   

Deft handling, intelligent running lines, cross-kicking and counter-attacking, Spencer has it down pat. The 35-Test All Black was equally adept at fullback and will also be sure to play a positive role in the careers of Louis Ludik and Riaan Viljoen.

If the pack can emulate their strong 2012 campaign, the potent Sharks backline – with Lambie pulling the strings – could be untameable this year.

By Quintin van Jaarsveld

MailBru: Think you know better than Quintin? Drop us an email with your comment and your reply could get published on rugby365 and win you a MayBru hamper in the process!

MayBru - Seriously South African 

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9