Lambie to hit the ground running

Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:55
Large jake lambie.jpg630

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White will have no hesitation in starting Pat Lambie against the Highlanders this weekend if the flyhalf is fit.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White will have no hesitation in starting Pat Lambie against the Highlanders this weekend if the flyhalf is fit.

The Bok playmaker has been sidelined for some time with a torn bicep and may be available for the Sharks' play-off match against the Highlanders in Durban on Saturday.

The versatile Frans Steyn has slotted in well at No.10 for the Sharks in his absence, but White would ideally like him at inside centre playing outside Lambie as they look to book a semifinal against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

He explained that he has every confidence that Lambie will be able to slot straight back in and produce his best on his return in a high-pressure play-off match.

"The one thing about Lambie is that he seems to have that knack of coming back and being man of the match. Also we have got to bank on us winning this game, the next one and the next one so I have got to eventually do it if I believe he is good enough," he said.

White pointed out that the Highlanders are in a very similar position with regular flyhalf Lima Sopoaga not involved in their defeat to the Crusaders last week and said that he will be interested to see how the visitors manage that this weekend.

"If he [Lambie] is not available it is not all doom and gloom, but if he is is I think it is a great boost for us as a team. I looked with interest at the Highlanders, they didn't play Sopoaga they played a new ten and dropped Sopoaga but I have got no doubt Sopoaga will be back next week.

"They are in the same dilemma - should they play Sopoaga who hasn't played for a couple of weeks or play the guy who played this weekend?" White questioned.

The Sharks boss also hopes to have the services of experienced prop Tendai Mtawarira and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach who was rested against the Stormers as a precaution for a hamstring injury.

JP Pietersen is also expected to recover quickly from the concussion he suffered by clattering into Duane Vermeulen.

"He failed his concussion test which is a concern but if he passes all his checks and balances then he will be available for next week," said White.

The Sharks will be hoping that the momentum they picked up in a morale-boosting win over the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday coupled with the return of some key players will be enough to see off the challenge of a Highlanders side that has already won once at Kings Park this season.

Whilst some may see rushing Lambie back into the starting line-up as a risky option, White has chosen to back the pivot to produce the goods under pressure straight away which will give him plenty of confidence.

By Michael de Vries

Crusaders vs Reds
sast: 09h35 | local: 11h35

  • 31 | 5
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4