We mentioned South Africa’s two tries in the Rugby World Cup final on page one and here we go into a little more detail. But first some background for those who may be new to the strategies at play in a game of rugby.
In a rugby team, every player has a job to do – or, more accurately, several jobs to do. And when done right, the jobs in the tight exchanges can create just a little bit of space in the wider channels, where most teams have some of their fastest and most agile players.
That, right there is where the skill-levels of a Makazole Mapimpi and a Cheslin Kolbe come to the fore. But first the Mapimpi try. It began with a dominant scrum and a quick ball from the base out to Lukhanyo Am who quickly shifted it to Malcolm Marx. Marx passed to Mapimpi in space, who chipped it over the approaching defender. Am chased, caught the ball and used a no-look around-the-corner pass to Mapimpi. Try time.
Marx and Am were also involved in Kolbe’s try. Marx executed the tackle that knocked the ball loose, Am scooped it up and popped it up to Pieter-Steph du Toit, who got it out to Kolbe – albeit far too high for comfort. Kolbe then stepped four defenders to seal the victory.
Dan Retief described it well on Twitter: “The best part of Cheslin's piece of magic is that he left the unsporting and ungracious Owen Farrell clutching at straws and eating grass – can't think of anything more fitting to sign off a great performance by everyone in a green jersey.”