British & Irish Lions

Kolbe reluctant to take credit: 'It's a man-of-the-match for this whole team'

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Cheslin Kolbe tackles Louis Rees-Zammit of the British & Irish Lions.(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images))
Cheslin Kolbe tackles Louis Rees-Zammit of the British & Irish Lions.(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images))

Cheslin Kolbe refuses to take the shine despite his man-of-the-match performance in the South Africa 'A' team's 17-13 victory over the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Kolbe was omnipresent throughout at Cape Town Stadium, keeping the Lions defenders on tenterhooks and, as usual, not shying away on the defensive front.

Kolbe also caught the eye when he set up a try for SA 'A' skipper Lukhanyo Am.

The speedy winger fielded a high ball inside his own half, before counter-attacking where he stepped through a few Lions defenders before putting Am away.

It put the hosts 17-3 ahead after 32 minutes - a lead that proved enough until the end of the game.

WATCH | Sensational Kolbe floors British & Irish Lions defence, sets up Am try

But Kolbe was humble in the post-match press conference, instead heaping praise on his team-mates for overcoming the odds.

"It's not a man-of-the-match for me, it's a man-of-the-match for this whole team. We didn't get much preparation done in Johannesburg but the boys definitely adapted quite well in terms of scenarios on the field," Kolbe said.

"It's not about any person, we're all humbled and privileged to be where we are and wear this jersey. There's so much talent that could have been on the field and could have done the exact same job. So, we're definitely blessed in terms of having amazing players in the group and I'm sure once each and every player gets that opportunity to get on the field, the they'll definitely want to lay down their [marker] to show to the coaches what they can do and bring to the team."

Kolbe said there were lots to work on ahead of the Test series but lauded his team-mates for matching the Lions' intensity.

"They definitely tried to ramp up the intensity. For us it was just to hang in there and stay tight and just make sure that we stay in the fight. And the boys definitely delivered that on the field - that was what the coaches wanted from us, especially not getting as much training done... just to show character and pride...

"There's definitely a lot of things we can work on, but [I'm] just super proud and looking forward to the next couple of weeks," Kolbe said.

When probed whether the SA 'A' team lived up to its potential, Kolbe responded: "Yes, 100%. With minimum preparation there was a plan and we definitely did everything the coaches wanted us to do.

"We had to show a bit of character out there, especially defending for a quite a number of phases on our tryline. And not allowing them to score definitely shows the fight that the boys have and that's what we pride ourselves on and that's how we get a lot of energy at the end of the day.

"Super proud and for now it's [about] staying humble and making sure we keep on improving on our skills and what the coaches want from us."

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