Bok Watch: Kolbe, Esterhuizen star in finals

A closer look at how the Springbok players are performing in leagues around Europe in the lead-up to the much-anticipated three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions.


Springboks Andre Esterhuizen, Wilco Louw, Stephan Lewies and the uncapped Tyrone Green all played starring roles as Harlequins came from behind to beat the Exeter Chiefs 40-38 in a thrilling Premiership final.

Esterhuizen played 78 minutes at inside centre for Harlequins, returning from a ban, and had a mother of a match. In total, he made 11 carries for 32 metres, but it was also his passing work that did wonders for his side, drawing in defenders and releasing his teammates on the outside. Esterhuizen also showed immense strength to shrug off a couple of defenders and score a second-half try in the corner.

Bok tighthead Louw played 58 minutes, but worked his socks off, making a total of 14 tackles and seven carries, while also scoring a first-half try. Harlequins captain Lewies was also substituted after playing 58 minutes and making 14 tackles.

Green, meanwhile, provided the assist for what was ultimately the winning try finished off by Louis Lynagh, son of former Australia international Michael. In total, Green also made 64m from 12 carries, beat nine defenders and offloaded the ball three times.

Exeter had Jannes Kirsten in their starting lineup and he put in an excellent performance at blindside flank, despite ending up on the losing side. Kirsten made 16 tackles, the most of any Exeter player, 14 carries and picked up a try assist.

French Top 14

Cheslin Kolbe showed his all-round talent as he slotted a 50m drop goal in Toulouse’s 18-8 win over La Rochelle in the Top 14 final on Friday evening.

In a wet-weather match that featured just one try, Kolbe started at fullback, with Springbok teammate Rynhardt Elstadt at flank. Despite the conditions, Kolbe still managed to fire, making 108m and seven passes, while looking solid under the high ball.

Elstadt, meanwhile, played the full 80 minutes and made 14 tackles, conceding just two penalties.

Springboks Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule started for La Rochelle, but neither had the opportunity to open the game up with ball in hand as they have so often done this season.

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Dylan Jack