JOHANNESBURG – Ten months ago when the Lions hosted the Stormers at Ellis Park, wing Madosh Tambwe scored four tries against the Cape team, the first three coming inside 13 minutes, the fourth in the second half, as the home team triumphed 52-31.
However, the good news for the Cape Town-based team ahead of Saturday’s round two Super Rugby match between the teams at Newlands is that it’s unlikely the Kinshasa-born player who matriculated at Parktown Boys High School will run out for the Lions, such is the depth at wing in the Lions squad.
While coach Swys de Bruin will only name his squad today, Tambwe is expected to again miss out, like he did a week ago for the trip to Argentina for the Jaguares match.
The problem for him is that three Springboks are ahead of him in the queue to fill the wing positions, namely Aphiwe Dyantyi, Courtnall Skosan and Ruan Combrinck, who were all part of the squad that won in Buenos Aires last weekend.
And now Tambwe, himself only 21 years old, also has to compete with the exciting Wandisile Simelane, 20, who has come up from the junior ranks and who sat on the bench in Argentina last week. And then there’s also the ever dependable utility back Sylvian Mahuza also hoping for game-time.
Tambwe knows it’s not going to be easy to break into the Lions team, but he said this week he was prepared to work hard and wait for his chance.
“It’s nice having Bok players around, like Aphiwe, Courtnall and Commies (Combrinck); we bring out the best in each other,” said the powerfully built winger.
“All I can do is take every day as it comes. I train my heart out and I know that when the opportunity comes I must be ready to grab it, take it,” he said. “I’m still trying to learn from all these guys around me, to better myself.”
With the World Cup happening later this year and Dyantyi possibly being asked to rest at certain times by the national coaching team, Tambwe is sure to feature at some stage this season. Also, De Bruin has been known to rotate his players, which would open the door for the wing and his other mates, like Simelane and Mahuza.
Looking ahead to the match against the Stormers, Tambwe said: “Hopefully the guys will be able to use the momentum gained from that win at the weekend.
“We’re going to go in with the same mentality we go into every game, and that’s to play some running rugby,” he said. “We’ll stick to our DNA and not do anything too complicated.”
He added that Robbie Fleck’s team would be no pushovers, despite their 40-3 hiding from the Bulls a week ago.
“We know the Stormers will start like a house on fire after what happened last week. They’ll be out to prove themselves, especially as they’re playing at home, but we look forward to the challenge.”@jacq_west