Mark Keohane’s Independent Media Rants and Raves following round 6 of Super Rugby.
Dillyn Leyds remains one of my favourite South African rugby players. Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus could do worse than revisit his view of Leyds. Here’s a player with absolute understanding of defence, as much as attack.
Last year Leyds scored one of the individual tries of the season against the Sunwolves, while on Saturday his defensive execution in saving what seemed a certain try against the Hurricanes was a masterclass. Leyds, back pedalling, held his defensive line against a rampaging Ben Lam before turning and backing his pace to make the most telling of tackles.
Jean-Luc du Plessis doesn’t select himself at flyhalf, so this rant isn’t aimed at Du Plessis, despite his shocker against the Hurricanes in Wellington. It’s the Stormers’ coaching staff who continue to select Du Plessis ahead of the mercurial talents of Damian Willemse.
Why, in South Africa, do players with X-factor have to fight so hard to convince coaches of their value. I think of Gio Aplon and Cheslin Kolbe’s Super Rugby careers and how often they were vilified for a mistake when they should have been lauded for making the impossible seem possible.
Willemse is the most dynamic game breaker, but he can’t break down any defence when warming a plastic chair as a reserve.
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