Springbok flyer outdone by 114kg English lock
By Rugby Onslaught

Springbok flyer outdone by 114kg English lock

When Springboks and Stormers fullback Damian Willemse was acrobatically diving in the corner to score against Harlequins on Saturday in the Heineken Champions Cup, he must have thought he had produced the finish of the round. Little did he know he was about to be outdone by the most unexpected of people.

Later that day, there was a very similar finish one-handed finish. The only difference was that this was in the other corner of the field. Oh, and it was also being scored by a 114kg lock Freddie Clarke. That’s right, a lock.

The Gloucester second-row produced a finish as good as Willemse up against the reigning European champions La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel Deflandre in what may be the greatest finish ever by a player in his position- or at least the most acrobatic.

This finish more or less summed up how good the game was, as Gloucester were leading going into the final minutes of the match only for the hosts to score a late try through Teddy Thomas and take the victory.

Take a look at Willemse’s finish:

Take a look at Clarke’s finish:

After the gruelling loss, Gloucester director of rugby George Skivington said: “It’s absolutely gutting. I think the boys couldn’t have done any more than they did tonight, they’ve left it all out there and fought unbelievably hard.

“After Newcastle away last week (a 17-12 defeat in the Gallagher Premiership) we had some good chats and it was really important we set out it out that we love this team and will play hard for this club.

“We know the season hasn’t been ideal and this group have had a lot thrown at them behind the scenes, it’s been hard for them.

“But that fight tonight was what we’re all about and it’s very hard to swallow right now because frankly I think we were hard done by with the call at the end that gave them the pressure.

“I don’t moan often about things like that but I think in a big game like this there has to be some accountability around that.

“But to hold them out the way they did at the end, I’ve not seen that in a game in La Rochelle’s season. We did rattle them, but unfortunately, it’s not to be today.”