The South African winger came up with a crucial play in what proved to be a one-point game
You don’t see it at Test level often, but fans at the Stade de France witnessed Cheslin Kolbe charge down a Thomas Ramos conversion.
In a breathless first half at the Stade de France, the hosts and South Africa went toe to toe, try for try. But after Peato Mauvaka scored in the right-hand corner he left Thomas Ramos with a touchline conversion.
And although Ramos though he had plenty of time to take the conversion – owing to the shot clock used – he began his approach. However, Springboks winger Kolbe galloped over to block the kick.
In the post-match press conference, South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber praised Kolbe’s ingenuity, saying: “Cheslin’s charge down I thought was special you don’t see that often. That’s somebody chasing a lost cause. I thought that was quite excellent.”
You may be wondering what there is in the laws of rugby that means it’s okay when Kolbe charges down conversions like this…
Laws around the moment Kolbe charges down conversion
According to World Rugby’s laws, when a team has been scored against and awaits a conversion: “All players retire to their goal line and do not overstep that line until the kicker moves in any direction to begin their approach to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.”
Fans of Exeter Chiefs my remember in 2021, when Joe Simmonds was charged down against Northampton Saints when the fly-half was preparing to take what could have been the winning kick in a Gallagher Premiership nail-biter.
At the time, referee Christophe Ridley said of Simmonds: “He started his run up. He moved his shoulder and started his run up.”