Kolbe struggling in Japan

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May 27, 2024, 08:06

I have been following Kolbe all season now to see how is performing in Japan. You would think that he would be lighting up the league given his status but unfortunately he hasn't been able to have the same impact that he had in France. 

With less 6 tries all season and and very few line breaks, neither his amazing runs that we all love to watch. Then, you look at a player like Damian McKenzie that had an immediate impact, he could carve up teams but at the same time, also ignite an attack. Both are similar builds and both are very elusive. I do believe McKenzie had a far bigger impact than Kolbe. My reason being is that he was able to bring players along with him, where as Kolbe, like so many coloured players from SA always look to attack. We see this in Willemse and a few others. Everything is instinctive. 

Then, the Japanese players are also very agile and the same size, speed and weight as Kolbe. So he has less chance to get away from players. I also noticed how the Japanese players defend against him. They would just put a tight wall of 3 players in front of him. Forcing him to run around by which time the rest of the defence is in line. He always off loads in contact. This is another part of his game he needs to work on. McKenzie would often be a link or pivot player, allowing others to play off him and then make sure he is available in support. 

I do think Japan is good for him and I can't wait to see what Tony Brown does with him this season 

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