Springbok World Cup hero Cheslin Kolbe has defied conventional play with a Houdini-like escape act in Toulouse’s win over rival Brive in the French Top 14 league.


Kolbe’s heads-up play saved a would-be defensive lineout from Toulouse’s own five, as Brive looked to kick to the corner after receiving a penalty.

Back at fullback after his stint at flyhalf, the Springbok star managed to catch the ball and pop it back threw his legs, before a teammate prevented disaster in the in-goal by scooping up the loose ball. After receiving a return pass, Kolbe looped around the back of the in-goal to find the open field and scamper away downfield.

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Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans

The daring stunt was an incredible piece of skill, despite the inherent risk taken to make the play.

Kolbe’s piece of brilliance added to his growing highlight reel of incredible moments for Toulouse, where he has flourished since leaving South Africa.

Renown for a laissez-faire approach to risk management, the Top 14 can at times dish up comical moments that would cause any coach to pull their hair out, in contrast to the desired style of play in South Africa which has been inspired by the Springboks World Cup win.

Kolbe’s brilliant play seems inspired by the French league’s risk-taking nature rather than the way of the Springboks.


South African domestic rugby has been overcome by a preference for box kicking and goal kicking following the success of the national side in Japan, leading to some prominent coaches to declare that domestic rugby is in crisis over the low-risk strategies employed by the teams.

Former coach Nick Mallett was highly critical of the play in South Africa’s Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup seasons and decried where the local game is going.

As long as Kolbe remains in Europe, it seems like his endless run of fascinating highlights will continue as he adds to his resume with stints in a number of positions.

Watch Kolbe’s daring save for Toulouse against Brive in the Top 14 below: 


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