Lambie: The 'ultimate achievement'
Sharks' back Patrick Lambie was delighted by the turnout of fans in the streets of Durban on Wednesday to celebrate their Currie Cup success.
Sharks' back Patrick Lambie was delighted by the turnout of fans in the streets of Durban on Wednesday to celebrate their Currie Cup success against Western Province at the weekend.
The Springbok star, who will assemble with the national team in Johannesburg on Thursday ahead of their end-of-year tour to Europe, took part in an open-top bus parade around the city to display the trophy.
"It's a very joyous occasion for us.
"It's wonderful to see all the support that we have for winning the Currie Cup and all the support the boys have received during the competition," he said.
"It's very special and great to be recognised by the city.
"Winning the competition is a very special achievement. As a rugby player in South Africa, the Currie Cup is the pinnacle.
"It's the ultimate achievement. There's so much heritage, history and tradition behind the trophy, so it's momentous for us."
The coastal team beat Province 33-19 in the domestic rugby showpiece in Cape Town on Saturday, claiming the title as underdogs against the favourites.
"We treated the game the same as any other one," said Lambie, who kicked 23 points in the match.
"Fortunately, this was my fourth final so you sort of get used to the feelings, the nerves, and the adrenaline, but it was really nice this year, there were no big expectations, no big pressure... the talk was always positive even when things weren't going our way.
"For every player out there, I think all you can do is enjoy it when the atmosphere is like that."
The 23-year-old praised the contribution of outgoing director of rugby Brendan Venter and the newly-appointed coaching team of Sean Everitt and Brad Macleod-Henderson.
Former Springbok coach Jake White is set to take over from Venter next season.
"Brendan's a great guy and it's fantastic what he's done," Lambie said.
"The whole Sharks' management have worked extremely hard over the past few months.
"So it's very fitting that we've ended up winning the trophy.
"It's been an interesting year at the Sharks ... a lot of disruptions, a lot of unhappiness and not great results in Super Rugby.
"It's awesome that we can the year off on a good note and go into Super Rugby next year on a positive foot."
Lambie had an indifferent 2013 struggling to find form at the Sharks and failing to start a test for the Springboks, despite being the favoured number 10 during last year's trip to Europe.
He admitted he still had high hopes of wearing the number 10 jersey when the Boks play Wales, Scotland and France next month.
"Obviously everyone dreams of being in the starting line-up and it's no different for me, but I'm really happy that I'm in the group, so we'll have to see what happens."