Sharks will not win Super Rugby without a decent flyhalf to run proceedings,

An inescapable fact burned bright though the icy, misty drizzle of Canberra on Saturday – the Sharks will not win Super Rugby without a decent flyhalf to run proceedings, and coach Jake White will be praying to the rugby gods that Patrick Lambie’s recuperation from a bicep injury can be hastened from his predicted return in a month’s time.

The Sharks’ crisis in the position is as serious as it has been understated. Right now, they simply do not have a flyhalf befitting a team that is top of the Super Rugby standings and they are going to struggle to hang on to pole position until the cavalry, in the form of the fresh-faced Lambie, gallops to the rescue.

The bottom line is this: Frans Steyn is not a flyhalf, he does not want to play there, and he is stoically doing the best he can for a team in need. Unfortunately, he had a shocker in the position against the Brumbies at the weekend and it permuated through a backline that had no rhythm.

Steyn’s error count mounted through the game along with his lack of success in his kicks at goal, and the wretched look on his face cried out ‘get me out of here’. And usually he would have been whipped to the bench in no time. But the problem is that the Sharks did not have a reinforcement flyhalf on the bench

When the squad was selected for the Brumbies match, not many picked up that there was not a specialist flyhalf on the bench. SP Mariais and Charl McLeod were the backline reserves and neither could claim to have ever worn a 10 jersey on their back. And in the starting line-up, centres Paul Jordaan and S’Bura Sithole are strangers to the position, nevermind the outside backs in lwazi Mvovi, Odwa Ndungane and JP Pietersen,

So ,if Frans Steyn had got injured in the first five minutes, who was going to play flyhalf? Not Tim Swiel, evidentdly, who had been dropped after three opportunities and was excluded from the bench. And there was no Fred Zeilinga who earlier in the week had been flow home after failing to recover from the hamstring injury that he took with him on tour.

Frankly, the Super Rugby leading Sharks went in to the match against the second-placed Brumbies, with no flyhalf cover, an extraordinary risk but one they simply had to take, because there was nobody else.

And Steyn promptly played a shocker. He did not get injured, thankfully, but where does this leave Jake White going into this weekend’s game against the Crusaders?

It leaves the Sharks in a quandary because they do not have a flyhalf confident to take control of their game. They are playing poor rugby because they do not have a general dictating how they should play. They will continue to bumble along until Lambie resumes control

by Mike Greenaway

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

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