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Watch: Cheslin Kolbe takes Ngani Laumape head on in his Top 14 debut with Toulon

By Sam Smith
(Source/Canal+)

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Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe donned the colours of Toulon for the first time in the Top 14 after an injury delay in a hard fought match against Stade Francais.

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Kolbe played at fullback but could not inspire his side to victory as they went down 26-24 but he was heavily involved throughout the match, particularly on defence where he came up with big tackles at the right time.

He was forced to defend as the last line frequently at the back but didn’t disappoint. He put Stade left wing Adrien Lapegue-Lafaye over the sideline in a lifting tackle, while he chopped down Fijian wing Waisea Nayacalevu on the opposite side twice.

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Even against former All Black Ngani Laumape, who was playing at outside centre, Kolbe took him on head on and managed to force Laumape to lose his balance in a low tackle which saved a guaranteed try.

He added a second try-saving effort in second half when he denied Lapeque-Lafaye for a second time, pushing him over the sideline in the corner in a two-man effort.

Kolbe fielded plenty of kicks in the backfield, running back on many counter opportunities. Kolbe sparked a smart play down the right hand touchline on one of the kicks to set up captain Baptiste Serin for Toulon’s second try.

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The 28-year-old had a couple of errors, spilling a high ball and kicking out on the full once, but overall his performance from the back was impressive.

Toulon slipped to 13th in the league with the loss, which puts them at risk of a relegation playoff but have games in hand after postponements.

Watch Kolbe’s first Top 14 appearance for Toulon below

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