Throughout 2013 Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer told Pat Lambie to hang in there and keep on playing well and his chance will come. So when it did, the Sharks playmaker was ready to make it count.
“Being picked in the starting XV on the end-of-year tour was really nice,” Lambie tells MyPlayers in an exclusive interview.
“Obviously every player wants to be in the starting lineup so it was great to get those opportunities. Another highlight for me was the fact that I also played in every Test match, which was a goal of mine this year. I think we got some fantastic results as a team.
“There was a constant message from Heyneke Meyer and it was to hang in there and that he is enjoying watching me improve on a regular basis. I think it was a bit unfortunate that when the first Springbok side was chosen this year the Sharks were going through a iffy stage and when you’re playing in a losing side it’s difficult to look good.
“But the talk was always positive from the coach and my chance came. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself when I got the opportunity to start. I really enjoyed myself and I played well because I got some fantastic feedback.”
Lambie says another highlight for him this year was the Currie Cup final, which the Sharks won when they beat Western Province in Cape Town. “It was very special to be involved in the Currie Cup final with the Sharks, especially because we won it away from home at Newlands.
“It was a great experience and an awesome month in my career, being involved with Brendan Venter and the way the Sharks were being managed at that stage.”
Lambie received a lot of accolades after that game for his tactical approach. He says he is not phased when he is required to play a kicking game. “I am very comfortable in that role. I have worked very hard on that over the last two years and I feel that I have a lot to offer in terms of tactical kicking,” he says.