‘Give Kolbe his space’

Storm­ers’ ‘greased light­ning’ will keep full­back po­si­tion, says coach Rob­bie Fleck

CityPress - - Sport - LEIGHTON KOOP­MAN sports@city­press.co.za

Un­less the na­tional se­lec­tors or Spring­bok coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee say they want to see what Ch­es­lin Kolbe looks like on scrum half, the Storm­ers’ greased light­ing won’t move in be­hind the oven any­time soon. This is how Rob­bie Fleck, Storm­ers coach, de­scribed the state of af­fairs re­gard­ing Kolbe af­ter re­newed com­ments over the past week that he be moved from the full­back po­si­tion to scrum half.

This af­ter Kolbe was one of just a few stars in the Storm­ers’ draw against the Sunwolves.

As per usual, Kolbe popped up ev­ery­where and a cou­ple of times even from be­hind the ruck.

It’s also from here that he made a few breaches with one of th­ese frisky runs that even­tu­ally led to the drawtry that saved the Storm­ers from red faces against the Ja­panese.

His per­for­mance once again had tongues wag­ging, with for­mer Spring­bok coach Nick Mal­lett af­ter the game against the Sunwolves say­ing that Kolbe had the po­ten­tial to be­come a su­perb in­ter­na­tional scrum half. Mal­lett last year said the very same thing while Kolbe was play­ing full­back for the Storm­ers in the Su­per Rugby se­ries, when Coet­zee was still coach. But Fleck was quick to nip the gos­sip in the bud. “For him to play scrum half at the high­est level, he will have to play in that po­si­tion for us reg­u­larly. At the mo­ment that is not go­ing to hap­pen,” said the Storm­ers coach.

“It has been done that play­ers make po­si­tional moves late in their ca­reers, but scrum half is a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion.

“We are cur­rently do­ing what is good for the Storm­ers and that’s to play him on full­back. Un­less the na­tional se­lec­tors or Al­lis­ter Coet­zee come to me and say ‘I want to see Ch­es­lin on fly half or scrum half’.”

Ear­lier in the sea­son the Storm­ers camp did toy with the idea of us­ing Kolbe on fly half.

This was shortly af­ter Kurt Cole­man and Robert du Preez, the two first-choice fly halfs, were in­jured and be­fore Jean-Luc du Plessis and Bran­don Thom­son came on the scene.

How­ever, Fleck be­lieves play­ing Kolbe on full­back gives him more free rein to pop up ev­ery­where on the field.

“That’s the beauty of full­backs. Nor­mally they are the best foot­ballers on your team and they have the abil­ity to pop up ev­ery­where. That’s what he [Kolbe] does for us. The free­dom he cur­rently has to play any way he wants, suits his kind of game.”

PHOTO: NASIEF MANIE

BEST MOVE Ch­es­lin Kolbe finds him­self in the mid­dle of a de­bate over whether he should play as a full­back or fly half

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