Sharks and South Africa second row Eben Etzebeth showed his incredible in-game knowledge at the ruck to score a great solo try against Harlequins.
In this Champions Cup tie, Sharks went into the game with in second place of Pool A of the competition, with Harlequins needing victory to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
While the English side have done what they needed to do to give themselves the best possible chance of qualification, they will be scratching their heads wondering how Eben Etzebeth was able to score this try in the first half.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) January 21, 2023
Known for his incredible athletic ability and ball carrying for a second row, Etzebeth took full advantage of the situation from a caterpillar maul to run through for the try.
On first inspection, you may be wondering how the try was allowed, as Harlequins players that the ball was not out yet, and he could have possibly been offside.
However, to show just how good Etzebeth's awareness is, one small movement from England prop Joe Mauler meant the try could stand.
Why Etzebeth Try Was Given
Often a tactic used to allow scrum-half's protection when kicking the ball, the Caterpillar maul has received criticism from fans for slowing the game down.
While it gives protection to the kicker, it needs several players in the ruck to work, and as Joe Marler found out today, one small movement could be costly.
As Marler leaves the bind from the ruck, the ball is deemed to be out, and available for the Sharks players to challenge.
As Eben Etzebeth did not make his run until Marler stopped binding from the ruck, he is not offside and left Danny Care stranded, who seemed to not realise what had happened. Care's appeals were dismissed, while the rest of the Harlequins players waited for a whistle that never came.