VIDEO: Malmesbury Missile - all 28 tackles
WATCH as we bring you five minutes of mayhem by the Malmesbury Missile – Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Pieter-Steph, or the ‘Malmesbury Missile’ as Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber called him, has been rightfully celebrated for his Man of the Match performance in South Africa’s 12-11 win over New Zealand in the World Cup Final at the Stade de France in Paris last weekend.
Most pundits focused on his match-high 28 tackles.
To put it in context, the entire All Black team made only 92 tackles in the game.
Du Toit made almost 14 percent of the Springboks’ 209 tackles in the 80 minutes of the Final – followed by Deon Fourie (20), Franco Mostert (16), Faf de Klerk (15) and Frans Malherbe (15).
Only one All Black made it into the top 10 for tackles made in the Final – hooker Codie Taylor, with 11.
The previous highest tackle record in a World Cup Final was held by Richie McCaw, who made 18 in New Zealand’s 2011 win over France in Auckland.
“He was phenomenal,” Nienaber responded, when asked about Du Toit’s performance in the 2023 Final in the French national stadium.
“Defence is my department and he was exceptional.
“I must say in the last couple of games, he wanted it desperately.
“Not only him, but everyone wanted it desperately.
“He put himself in the right positions.
“I always joke that if there’s a white plastic bag that blows over the field, he would probably chase that down as well.
“That is him.
“‘The ‘Malmesbury Missile’ – that’s what he was – he was like a machine.”
* (Watch all 28 tackles right here …)
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi also heaped praise on his teammate, suggesting he was so enamoured by Du Toit’s tackling that he just wanted to ‘stand and watch him play’.
“He has grown so much,” The Bok captain said of the teammate returning from a career-threatening injury three years ago.
“I wanted to [just] watch him – the hits he was making.
“I was standing there and he was flying past me – making big hits.
“It is not only what he does on the field.
“He also takes it off the field.
“When we are down, how he speaks to us as a group.
“It was quiet in the changeroom. He got everyone up.
“He has taken that leadership role and backs it up with what he does on the field.”
Additional source: @rugbyworldcup