Frustrated Lambie wants to impress Meyer
Patrick Lambie expressed his frustration on Tuesday with his bit-part role with the Springboks during this year’s Rugby Championship but said that he would do everything in his power to prove to coach Heyneke Meyer that he is ready for a role in South Africa’s starting XV.
Utility back Lambie has been on the bench for all three of South Africa’s Rugby Championship matches this season but he failed to make an appearance in the two tests against Argentina and played just 10 minutes in the 26-19 loss to Australia in Perth.
Lambie is certain to be named on the bench again for Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday and said that all he could do to break into South Africa’s run-on XV is to just work harder.
“I’m desperate for some game time. I’ve been training hard, as hard if not harder than the guys that have been starting to try and get into the starting XV. I’m hoping and looking forward to some more game time and making the most of my opportunity. If I get a chance to get on the field I will be doing all that I can to impress the coach and other players,” he told reporters in Auckland where South Africa are basing themselves before making the move to Dunedin on Thursday.
“It was really nice to get on the field against Australia. I sat on the bench for the other two games and didn’t get on, which was very disappointing and a bit frustrating so it was nice to get on albeit for 10 minutes.
“It’s not much time to do anything but I got my hands on the ball a couple of times, cleaned a few rucks and did everything that I could, unfortunately it was a bit too late,” he added.
Lambie was used at flyhalf and fullback by his franchise team The Sharks during this year’s Super Rugby season but Meyer has made it clear that he views the talented 21-year-old as a fullback.
Lambie, who has amassed 14 caps during his fledgling career, said that he did not mind where he played as long as he was starting.
“I’ve had an ankle injury so I’ve played all of 10 minutes of rugby in the last six weeks and before that 80 minutes in the last 10 weeks so I’m feeling fresh and raring to go.
“I just want to be in the starting line-up so whether that is at fullback or flyhalf I don’t mind at the moment. It would have been really nice to have got some game time at flyhalf against Argentina but, in saying that, if I get time at fullback this weekend that will be great too,” he explained.
Lambie was quick to play down suggestions that the Springboks are simply a kick-and-chase team but conceded that the Boks could have launched a few more counter-attacks with ball at hand against Australia, something which had been discussed during the team’s post-match review.
“If you look at the stats from the weekend Australia actually kicked five more times than we did so the whole perception that we are just kicking everything away and chasing and hoping for the best is actually false.
“Maybe the mindset had been that we were going to kick contestable kicks back onto Australia so the whole team wasn’t working hard enough to get back to give the guys catching those balls the opportunity to counter-attack. It was something that was mentioned yesterday and I am sure that we will address it this week in training,” he concluded.