Opinion: Flying Flasks one for the books


Cheslin Kolbe said in the run-up to the World Cup quarter-final against France that he would like to create new memories at the Stade de France.

After 80 minutes of play, the Springbok winger could simply boast of an entire photo album loaded with new highlights.

The 29-year-old winger delivered one of his best performances yet in a Bok jersey and he played a decisive role in the South Africans’ 29-28 victory.

There was his try in the 26th minute of the matchup when he stretched his legs to put down Jesse Kriel’s cross-kick.

But the highlight of his game is undoubtedly his brilliant rush – a few minutes before his try – to thwart Thomas Ramos’ set-piece attempt.

Peato Mauvaka had just scored France’s second try of the quarter-final and Ramos stepped up behind the kick, glanced at the target once and sent it flying towards the posts with his smooth action.

However, he didn’t take into account the flying Kolbe and the South African box blitz pulled away like a bullet from a gun barrel and jumped with his arms up in the air to thwart the French full-back’s kicking attempt.

Everyone knows that such a rush is possible, but very few have ever seen it live on any rugby field. Not to mention the Stade de France in a World Cup quarter-final.

In a game which South Africa won by a single point, Kolbe’s bravery and skill were decisive.

He was a thorn in the French’s flesh throughout and among other things he advanced 126 meters with the ball; the most of any player on both teams. On the defensive front, he was spot on with seven of his tackles.

Cheslin Kolbe proved once again that he is a player for the big moment.