The true deadliness of South Africa’s back three stems from all different facets of the game, says Craig Ray.
South Africa played out a stunning victory over the French in last weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Much of the game's massive events revolved around three players. Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse & Damian Willemse.
Speaking to Richie McCormack on Wednesday Night Rugby, journalist Craig Ray analysed how the trio can quickly flip a game on its head.
“Cheslin Kolbe was always a lethal steeper,” said Ray. “Kurt-Lee Arendse comes out of the Rugby Sevens program. He's actually been the most amazing find, I think, over the last year and a half because he made his test debut at the beginning of the 2022 season. We all thought, Will he be up for it? He's quite small. Two small wings? It's one thing to have one small wing, but two small wings? Could South Africa get away with it?”
“He's just literally punched above his weight, gets off the ground for the high balls. He really attacks them. He's so quick. But I think that Arendse’s biggest weapon is he's got a brilliant rugby brain.'
“He reads the game incredibly well, and then he's got these athletic gifts to back it up. Kolbe, as well as Willemse, we've always known they are amazing. And I think Willemse has found his position. He spent a bit of time moving between 10, 12, and 15, and he's now established himself as the first-choice fullback, but he can cover 12 and 10. That's where his versatility comes in.”
“They really are a very exciting back three. I think they've all just got a lot of confidence at the moment, too.”
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