VIDEO: Kolbe in tears after achieving Challenge Cup 'goal'
REACTION: A tearful Cheslin Kolbe said it was a “massive honour” to win the Challenge Cup with Toulon after the French side fell short at the final hurdle on previous occasions.
Toulon clinched the trophy for the first time in their history after outclassing Glasgow Warriors in an assured 43-19 victory in Dublin on Friday.
The French heavyweights, playing in the final of the competition for a fifth time, crossed six times in front of 31 514 fans at Lansdowne Road, through Baptiste Serin (2), Sergio Parisse, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Waisea Nayacalevu and Ihaia West.
Kolbe produced a man-of-the-match performance during the 80 minutes. He was incredible on defence and he had a hand in a couple of his team’s tries.
After a long hard season, @CheslinKolbe couldn’t hold his emotions in any longer
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) May 19, 2023
“Toulon have been in few finals and we just came second all the time,” Kolbe told BT Sport after the game.
“We just didn’t want the same feeling that we had last year in the changeroom.
“This week has been incredible with all the management and our families that supported us. They just gave everything and sacrificed everything.
“We came to Ireland early with one goal, which was to give our best on the field and represent this jersey with pride and the boys did really well.
“I am super honoured to be here and I am super proud of the boys.”
With Franco Smith revitalising Glasgow on attack this season, Kolbe knew that his team had to make the step up on defence.
“Glasgow are a wonderful team. They have been incredible throughout the season with coach Franco Smith,” said Kolbe.
“I know him quite well.
“He has a team who loves to play with the ball and for us it was just making sure that we don’t give them those opportunities on the field and I must say we did quite well.”
On his man-of-the-match award, Kolbe added: “We wanted to leave everything out there because we knew that is all up to us.
“We put in the hard work throughout the week and this [award] is just not for me, it is for the whole team, so I am just grateful to the boys [forwards] that made it easier for us as a backline.”