'As soon as he touches the ball, there is fire'
Toulon’s star Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe made his much-awaited debut for his new club Toulon, after leaving heavyweights Toulouse in the off-season.
The 28-year-old South African hasn’t been able to play for the first four months of the season, but made his first start on the left wing against the Italian club Zebre in a 28-14 Challenge Cup win at the weekend.
Kolbe showed flashes of his game-breaking ability, showing off the trademark footwork to threaten the defence on multiple occasions but Zebre kept him largely in check.
He wasn’t able to get any try-scoring opportunities.
His best chance came in the 42nd minute, but he was chased down from behind and the ball was dislodged as he tried to offload back inside to his support.
Club captain and French international Baptiste Serin praised Kolbe’s communication on the pitch and said that whenever ‘he touches the ball, there is fire’.
Serin said the plan was for Kolbe to play 60-minutes, but he ended up playing the full match after moving to centre to cover an injury to Julien Hériteau.
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“I found him clean and good in communication,” said Baptiste Serin in his post-match comments.
“You can’t see it but he communicates a lot. Now he needs to move on.
“We feel someone reliable who will bring us consistency.
“You feel that, as soon as he touches the ball, there is fire,” Serin added.
Toulon will have a much tougher assignment when the Top 14 resumes against the Bordeaux-Bègles who are top of the league table after 12 games.