Lambie blow for Sharks match

THE accidental blow Patrick Lambie took to his jaw from a Waratah’s knee in the first half of his team’s match against the Waratahs last week may prove to be an even more telling blow to his team after he was yesterday ruled out of Saturday’s match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

The 21-year-old has been crucial to the impressive flow the Sharks have enjoyed on attack this Super Rugby campaign, as they did when they won the Currie Cup in 2010, because of his mature reading of the game and his crisp distribution.

Lambie has been visiting a leading dentist in Sydney all week and scans revealed that he has damage to his jaw more severe than the toothache he has been suffering. At this stage, he has not been sent home, which is encouraging news ahead of the upcoming New Zealand leg of the tour (Hurricanes and Blues).

Frederic Michalak is the obvious replacement at 10 for Lambie, and he will no doubt want to state his case in his preferred position after having started the first three games at scrumhalf and then been moved to the bench to cover rival scrumhalf Charl McLeod for the next two.

The glaring problem is that the Sharks now have no scrumhalf cover on the bench, and not a lot in general as far as the two half-back positions are concerned. Meyer Bosman, relegated to the bench ostensibly because JP Pietersen has been passed fit to play, will cover flyhalf as well as centre, but if both Michalak and McLeod get injured, what then? The backline subs are Bosman and Louis Ludik. That’s it.

Besides the return of Pietersen from a thigh injury sustained during the warm-up before the match against the Reds in Durban in round three, there is further good news in the inclusion of human-wrecking ball Jean Deysel on the bench. He has been struggling with a knee injury for two years now and it is just about getting to be the last chance saloon for the powerful and popular flank as far as the injury is concerned.

He played 75 minutes of the game when the Sharks XV comfortably beat the Cheetahs in a Vodacom match in Bloemfontein last week, and having come through with a smile, he was immediately dispatched to Sydney.

In a change to the tight five, veteran Steven Sykes swaps place on the bench with Anton Bresler.

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Substitutes: Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Anton Bresler, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Meyer Bosman, Louis Ludik.

by Mike Greenaway

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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