Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

Wales coach picks Kolbe as Springboks dangerman

Shaun Edwards singled out Cheslin Kolbe as South Africa’s danger man comparing the speedy winger to England’s World Cup winner Jason Robinson.

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Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes that the Springboks biggest attacking threat will come from the quick feet of Cheslin Kolbe.

Kolbe was quiet in the Springboks victory over Japan although everything he was called on to do, he did well.

Kolbe like Robinson

Edwards drew a comparison between Kolbe and 2003 World Cup winner Jason Robinson who played with the Welsh coach in Rugby League before making the switch to Union.

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South Africa’s wing Cheslin Kolbe runs with the ball during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between New Zealand and South Africa at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama on September 21, 2019. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

“If you want to watch a game of rugby, you want to go and watch Cheslin Kolbe. We’ll have to keep an eye on him,” said Edwards.

“He’s one of the most dynamic players I’ve ever seen. I was lucky enough to play with Jason Robinson (pictured below scoring in the final against Australia in 2003) for many years. I was his captain at Wigan when he first came into the team there.

“Kolbe is a similar player to Jason, incredibly explosive, short and defies (the asumption that) you have to be big to play the game of rugby.

“Look at the England backline, some of them are not massive but they’re very skilful, same with New Zealand. It’s a game with all shapes and sizes. Let’s hope that continues.”

Jerome Garces to blow Springbok match vs Wales

Wales wary of Bok pace

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Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa reacts at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Photo: EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

The Springboks overpowered Japan up front but Wales are wary of the danger posed by Rassie Erasmus’ outside backs.

“They have got blowtorch speed on the edges,” he said. “If there was a 4x100m relay race with all the teams in the World Cup, they would probably be the fastest.

“I hope it is our biggest physical test yet. The Springboks have huge forwards who like to get over the advantage line.

“It will be a battle royale on that advantage line. Did you give up the gain-line or not? That is the biggest indicator whether you win or lose the game in defence.

“We need to get back down to the 14-points line we were conceding in the Six Nations. We are only five above it in this tournament, we are averaging around 18 or 19 points in each game, which is pretty good, it’s OK. If we get down to that 13-15 points that will help us for our attack to try to cover that.

“We’ve had a decent record against them (South Africa) recently, but just like against France, nearly all the games have been one-score games.

“That’s what is so exciting about this World Cup. You go into a game, you don’t know who’s going to win.”

The Springboks face Wales in Yokohama on Sunday in the Rugby World Cup semifinals.

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