WATCH | Eben Etzebeth's cheeky try against Harlequins shows huge rugby IQ

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Eben Etzebeth. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Eben Etzebeth. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

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.

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.


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