Sharks lose Patrick Lambie for the season
March 24, 2014
The loss of Pat Lambie represents a hammer blow to the Sharks © Getty Images
Patrick Lambie will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season, the Sharks fly-half having been ruled out for six months after tearing a biceps during the defeat by the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Lambie was initially thought likely to miss six weeks, but the news he is gone for the season represents a damaging blow to the Super Rugby ladder-leading Sharks with coach Jake White having established a nice partnership with Lambie and Frans Steyn as their twin playmakers.
White and the Sharks also must cope with the loss of Cobus Reinach, his first-choice scrum-half who will be absent for eight weeks after fracturing a hand in the 23-19 defeat by the Bulls, having previously lost key second-rower Pieter-Steph du Toit for the season.
Tim Swiel, who replaced Lambie in Pretoria, is expected to make way this week for Currie Cup-winning fly-half Fred Zeilinga against New South Wales Waratahs, while Charl MacLeod is set to start instead of Reinach.
"Losing your nine and 10 so early in a game does hurt - and this takes nothing away from the guys who came on and tried their best - but it's not the same [as starting]," White said of his likely halves partnership to face the Waratahs.
"We had spent two-thirds of the week training with the one combination of Pat and Cobus, and probably less than a third with Tim and Charl, purely because that is the nature of how you practise. So to lose both did not help."
Bulls 23-19 Sharks (video available only in Australia)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Adam Ashley-Cooper replaces the injured Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre, while Rob Horne assumes the No.11 jumper and Sean McMahon returns at blindside flanker
Richie McCaw enjoys yet another victory, this time away from the rugby field, with the blue-blooded racehorse he part owns making a winning debut in New Zealand
John Higgins says he still has a competitive desire to win and hopes a run at the UK Championship can give his career the kick-start it desperately needs
Wallabies staff broke a dressing-room door and hinges after the defeat by Ireland in Dublin, causing "a few thousand euros" worth of damage, the Irish Examiner reports
Ian Poulter says he would love to one day captain the European Ryder Cup team - but hopes he is at least 10 years away from that dream becoming a reality