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Lambie, Reinach ruled out

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Mar 2014 at 10:15
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

This news will come as no great surprise to Sharks fans, but is concerning all the same. Patrick Lambie and Cobus Reinach will both miss a month or more of Super Rugby action after sustaining serious injuries at Loftus this past weekend.

Lambie went down in the 6th minute of the game after injuring his arm pulling off a tackle. He has suffered a torn bicep which will sideline him for up to six weeks. Reinach broke his hand 9 minutes later and faces a similar (although perhaps slightly shorter) period on the sidelines.

Coach Jake White has acknowledged that losing the key pair so early in the game seriously disrupted the Sharks’ plans, with the starting halfbacks key to the sort of game that the Durban side wanted to play. While replacements Charl McLeod and Tim Swiel had decent games individually, there is little doubt that the Sharks ended up being forced into a game that they hadn’t planned for during the week and ultimately suffered the consequences.

Charl McLeod’s role becomes hugely important going forward; the veteran will need to step in and run the show from scrumhalf, with the young Stefan Ungerer likely to be brought in for a Super Rugby debut this week as deputy.

Replacing Lambie is more difficult, not because there are too few options, but perhaps rather too many. While Tim Swiel did an admirable job at short notice at Loftus, the smart money would be on White turning to the more experienced and composed Fred Zeilinga, whose game management skills are perhaps just that little bit more developed than the man from the Cape who made his senior rugby debut at Loftus. White’s plans revolve around a flyhalf that dominates the game and one feels that Zeilinga is perhaps a little more of an 80-minute flyhalf at this stage.

The other option, one which White may, of course, choose to exercise, is to move Frans Steyn into the flyhalf channel and entrust Heimar Williams with starting role in midfield. The inexperience of S’bura Sithole at outside centre, though, might reduce the likelihood of this scenario.


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