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Monday Jun 25, 2018

Faf de Klerk lauded for huge defence on much larger Nathan Hughes

England got the better of South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday night in their final match, winning 25-10. However, the series was claimed by the Springboks and they’ll have plenty to be happy about moving forward, not the least of which is the play of scrum half Faf de Klerk, as Nathan Hughes found out first-hand after this brilliant tackle.

Much of the discussion revolving around this position is reserved for the likes of Conor Murray and Aaron Smith, two undisputed superstars. However, Faf deserves a place in the conversation again as after returning from the UK, he now has the Springbok machine hitting on all cylinders.

He was electric all series – kicking well, flying all over the place, and making a general nuisance of himself, all traits any good scrum half needs to be effective. 

Perhaps his best moment came in the third Test with this impressive tackle on massive Hughes.

In this one-on-one battle, one would think there is no way Hughes loses that matchup. However, De Klerk used his tenacity and quickness off the English scrum to close the gap and smother Hughes before the number 8 knew what hit him. 

While not the biggest of hits, it was an extremely heads-up and intelligent tackle. And it’s yet another example of size not always being the sole determining factor.

Coach Rassie Erasmus must certainly be pleased he decided to bring de Klerk back into the fold. 

Credit: Rugbypass/Getty Images

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