Lambie hails April’s impact

After injuring himself early in the season, Sharks pivot Patrick Lambie impressed on his return to action in the win over the Hurricanes at the weekend.

"It was really nice, it was great being back out there in the middle and a lovely game to be involved in as far as the Sharks performance goes,” he told the Sharks' official website.

In his absence, Garth April took up the reins of the fly-half job and by Lambie’s reckoning (which echoes the general public), the youngster did a fantastic job.

"Garth has been outstanding, he’s had some great performances," added Lambie.

"He’s developed a lot of confidence around his team-mates and I hope he has a bright future here at the Sharks.”

Keeping himself sharp and making sure he was ready come his first opportunity to play after a fairly lengthy spell on the sidelines while he recovered from injury was important. 

While it may not have seemed like it at the time, he admits that he probably was a bit rusty to begin with although it wasn’t like he stepped out of a hospital bed directly onto the field.

"Well, I felt rusty – that was my feeling – but I was quite fortunate in that my rehab went quite smoothly, there wasn’t all that much I couldn’t do, apart from contact," added Lambie.

"I’ve been kicking, running and doing ball skills for six to eight weeks already."

The ‘complete performance’, or balance between attack and defence, has been bandied about a fair amount in the last few days since the Sharks outstanding performance against the Hurricanes in Durban and Lambie explains that it’s not so much two distinct elements, but rather making sure that the good in one aspect evolves into the good in the other.

"One of the focus points of the last couple of weeks has been rewarding ourselves for the good defence we’ve shown," he explained.

"We created turnovers but didn’t capitalise, so when we did absorb all the pressure and force the opposition into mistakes, we hadn’t punished them.

"But I thought we did that extremely well last weekend and that made a big difference, being able to turn turnover ball into attack, and hold onto the ball."