The electric wing created a try from nothing as the tourists suffered their first defeat of 2021
Cheslin Kolbe cuts Lions open with incredible footwork
There are only some certainties in life: death, taxes and Cheslin Kolbe making fellow professional rugby players look very, very silly.
It was an enthralling clash between the British & Irish Lions 2021 tourists and a South Africa A side packed with Test stars, with the hosts pulling through 17-13 in Cape Town.
The highlight of the ding-dong affair was the diminutive Kolbe putting his hustler’s footwork to use to bamboozle Lions defenders and create a try for his captain, Lukhanyo Am.
The wing ghosted past Chris Harris and Louis Rees-Zammit, then flew forward. As he was tackled by Elliot Daly, he popped it up to Am, who cantered on to score.
Before the match began, Ronan O’Gara had described Kolbe as the “Lionel Messi of rugby” on Sky Sports because of the Springbok’s ability to make magic happen on the field. And the little wizard proved the La Rochelle coach right (O’Gara should know, as his side have lost two finals this year to Kolbe’s Toulouse).
And as you can imagine, people took to social media to throw praise and the incredible wing.
The South Africa side had opened up the scoring when Eben Etzebeth charged down an Owen Farrell kick and then Sbu Nkosi finished things off. Then there was the Kolbe and Am show that gave the hosts a 17-3 lead at half-time.
South Africa A did receive two yellow cards towards the end of the half, Faf de Klerk and Marco van Staden both being sent to the sin-bin, but they were successful in holding out the Lions following a series of tap-and-goes.
The Lions came roaring back in the second half, clawing back to within a score and could well have won it in the end.
The Lions had been wasteful when first up against 13 men late in the first half, but in the second period Lions loosehead Wyn Jones went over from close range (before heading off injured).
Farrell’s second penalty on 50 minutes narrowed the gap while Rees-Zammit was inches short from giving the Lions the lead with a try on the hour mark, but in the end the South Africans’ stern defence held out as the Lions suffered their first defeat of 2021.
Things are nicely poised ahead of the Test series…
What did you make of the moment Cheslin Kolbe cuts Lions open? And what do you think this midweek match can tell us ahead of the Lions-Springboks Test series? Hit us up with your views on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a comment on our social media channels.
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