'Kolbe looking way better than Pollard at 10'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe is fast becoming the most versatile player on the planet after his performance at flyhalf at the weekend.
And some fans believe he is a “way better’ option at flyhalf than incumbent Handre Pollard.
The Springbok wing started at No.10 for Toulouse against Racing 92 in the Top 14 on Sunday and he impressed many in a narrow 30-27 loss.
With some of the most dangerous feet in the game, there was never any doubt that the 26-year-old was going to cause havoc in the middle of the field at flyhalf, but there is a huge amount more required of that position.
However, his pass for Pita Ahki’s try was a glimpse of his vision as a flyhalf and a sign that he does not simply pose a threat as a runner, but as a distributor too.
— Basheer Omardien (@the_bash_factor) February 16, 2020
Cheslin Kolbe is a better goal kicker than Bauden Barrett
— Liam Gordon-Turner (@liam_gordont) February 16, 2020
However, it was his kicking display that received the most attention as it caught many fans off guard.
After scrumhalf Sebastien Bezy went off with a head injury, the South African took on the kicking responsibilities for the team, amassing ten points through two penalties and two conversions.
What can Cheslin Kolbe not do??
— Ndips (@NdipzZingani) February 16, 2020
Haven’t been able to catch Racing v Toulouse this afternoon.
But it seems as though Cheslin Kolbe is doing the line-kicking and goal-kicking.
Wasn’t expecting that.
Thought he’d be playing ten and that’s it.
Sounds like he’s doing lot.
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) February 16, 2020
Of these kicks, one was a 48-metre penalty and one was a touchline conversion, as Kolbe showed that he has many strings to his bow.
It is one thing being asked to play at flyhalf, but it is another to kick so impressively, particularly when very few were aware he was capable of it.
What can’t Kolbe do on a rugby pitch? Even did well at scrumhalf last year 😂 https://t.co/eznH5IbIMn
— Sagheer Osman🔰🔰 (@sagheerosman) February 17, 2020
Cheslin Kolbe at 10 for Toulouse v Racing 92 📊
🔟 Passes ✋
3⃣ Defenders beaten 🕺
1⃣ Offload ✊
1⃣7⃣ Running metres 🔥
1⃣ Missed tackle✖️
1⃣ Try Assist🅰️
🔟 Points🙌#SaffasAbroad pic.twitter.com/imKhAyKBrK
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 17, 2020
Such was his display that he earned a place in the Top 14 team of the week and his stock as a rugby player has only risen. Accomplished across the back three, Kolbe can also play at scrum-half, so can now cover five positions across the backline.
He has even packed down at No.8 for Toulouse in the past, although they were for one-off set moves, exploiting his explosive pace from the base of the scrum.
With so many players on international duty, this was a risk which Toulouse felt had to be made and Kolbe’s excursion in a new position has potential.