Eben Etzebeth’s genius reaches new levels with lightning quick thinking
For anyone that is a stickler for good officiating at rucks in rugby, Eben Etzebeth’s antics at the weekend would have pleased you.
While playing against Pau on Saturday at the Stade Mayol in the Top 14, the South African lock was alert to some sloppy rucking by the visitors, and made them pay. As Pau shaped up to box kick out of their 22, they set up a caterpillar ruck to protect their scrum-half. However, the head of the caterpillar was no longer actually bound to the ruck, rather he was just standing over it.
“He’s not bound! He’s not bound!” were the cries that could be heard from the World Cup winner as he swooped around the ruck and picked the ball up from right under the scrum-half’s nose.
Standing at 2.03 metres tall, weighing 122 kg and having arms the size of a fly-half’s legs certainly help when it comes to rugby, but having an in depth knowledge of the law and what you are within your rights to do can help you become an elite rugby player.
This was all on the way to Toulon registering a 37-20 win, which leaves them in seventh place in the Top 14 table with one round remaining. For now though they will turn their attention to Europe and the Challenge Cup final against Lyon tomorrow evening in Marseille. Etzebeth is set to start in what could be his penultimate game for Toulon before returning to South Africa at the end of the season, and welcomes back compatriot Cheslin Kolbe to the starting XV who has missed the last few weeks with a broken thumb.
After that, it is their last match of the regular season in the Top 14 against fifth place Racing 92, where a win would probably secure them a place in the top six.
Take a look at this genius piece of play from Etzebeth: