Eben Etzebeth showed in the Sharks' defeat to Harlequins that he's not merely an enforcer.
The legendary Springbok lock scored a try in the first half that brilliantly illustrated how some teams have started to exploit English teams' penchant for setting up so-called caterpillar rucks.
What that entails is placing a two players behind each other at the breakdown, which effectively lengthens the off-side line for the defence and is predominantly used for box kicks because the scrumhalf is under less pressure from a creeping tackler.
However, Tony Spreadbury, head of match officials at European Professional Club Rugby, a few weeks back had briefed teams and referees that there would be a clampdown on players who don't bind properly at caterpillar rucks.
And Etzebeth's cheeky score illustrated that directive perfectly.
???? @EbenEtzebeth does not fear caterpillars!— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 21, 2023
He's disrupted a few in the first half, and now gets his hands on the ball and races to the line.
Incredible poaching from the Springbok ??#HeinekenChampionsCup | @SharksRugby pic.twitter.com/ljhuqpOvT8
As seen in the footage, Quins prop Joe Marler lost his bind when the Sharks tried to counter-shove, his shoulder consequently disengaging and merely his hand "bound".
Under the new directive, that means the ball is out and Etzebeth surged for the line.
A brilliant piece of rugby IQ.
The Sharks' loss didn't prevent them from securing a home playoff in the Champions Cup's round of 16.