Yes. The stats for Lam stack up so well
Ben Lam is having an incredible, breakout season for the Hurricanes, and should be an All Black for the June series against France. With 12 tries in just 10 games, Lam is three clear of his nearest Super Rugby rival in Argentinian Emiliano Boffelli.
Of the wing with more than 200 minutes under their belt this season, only two are scoring at a rate better than Lam.
He crosses the white chalk every 59.58 minutes, with Taqele Naiyaravoro (57.63 minutes) and Madosh Tambwe (45 minutes) the only players more potent.
On average, Lam is taking each carry for 11.47 metres and, while that figure isn’t the highest in Super Rugby, he does so while making more line breaks and tackle busts than those ahead of him.
In short, he’s making those metres the hard way. Lam makes a line break with every fourth carry, beaten by only three men in Super Rugby, and none of them are Kiwis.
Let’s take a step back, though, and discuss his perceived weaknesses.
Lam is a liability under the high ball and doesn’t have great hands, or at least that’s what I’ve read over the past couple of weeks.
Don’t let your eyes fool you.
Ben Lam has no handling errors in Super Rugby this year, according to the official statistics.
That’s right, not one single error. He’s played 715 minutes and made 70 runs but hasn’t spilled the pill.
He’s also turned the ball over just twice this season, which is an astonishing figure for a man who has been involved in so much play.
The areas he doesn’t excel is kicking (who cares, he’s a wing) and defence.
His tackling percentage of 71.11 per cent is mid pack for Super Rugby wings, with guys such as Ben Smith and Julian Savea boasting an 88.89 per cent success rate.
Those are things you can live with when your wing scores a try every 60 minutes.
Play him against France, and you’d expect four tries in three games. Hard to pass up, right?
We all know how stacked New Zealand Rugby is when it comes to outside backs.
The argument is, why would we drop one of our proven guys when they’re doing just fine?
Dare I say it, what if Lam is better? Give him a shot when he’s in the form of his life and see what happens. It’s not like you’re rolling the dice.
The guy has proven he’s exceptional.
This is just a chance to strive for that minute improvement this side is always looking for.
If he isn’t an improvement, no harm, but, based on his numbers, he’s worthy of a shot.
Another one bites the dust as Hurricanes wing Ben Lam races in to score against the Rebels in their Super Rugby clash on March 30.