‘Exceptional’ Bok hooker Malcolm Marx turns 50 in style



Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx presented 50 Test selections for the Boks in style as he put in a massive performance to be named man of the match in their impressive Rugby Championship win 26-10 above All Blacks at the Mbombela stadium on Saturday.

In a fantastic 55-minute shift, Marx was absolutely colossal at the breakdown, almost stealing the ball from the All Blacks at will, while he also made a number of big runs and took advantage of a flawless night in the lineup, hitting his sweater every time.

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber was full of praise for Marx, who has had an interesting run where he is now.

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“I thought he was exceptional, and that’s Malcolm. When we were talking in the week of his 50th birthdaye and who is Malcolm, today I told him he is the guy who amplifies what a Springbok should be,” Nienaber said.

“He’s a warrior and a guy who had to work hard after going from a loose striker to a hooker. So he really had to work hard to get where he is and I’ve been working with him since U20.

“2014 was the first time we started working together and it’s phenomenal to see the guy he is now. That game-changing game is what it is, it’s a milestone. I hope that will set him up for the road ahead and the road ahead is the next 50 Test matches.

extremely proud

Captain Siya Kolisi was also extremely proud of Marx and shared a number of words with him on the sidelines after the game.

“I was just telling him how proud I was of him and honoring him. I was saying how happy we are as a team for him and how proud we are that he stood up in a game like this,” Kolisi said.

“We never talked about him this week and he’s going to be a father soon, so that was huge. He’s a special guy in our team. Faf (de Klerk) called him the teddy bear of the team and he always makes jokes. But when he gets on the pitch, he moves on to someone else.

very humble

Marx himself was very humble about his own performance, choosing instead to praise his teammates whom he credits with putting him in the right position to dominate during the breakdown and enjoy a amazing day.

“It was special, but when you have guys around you in the team like that it’s amazing. I don’t know how else to respond to it. I think the team is amazing, they make it special for you and they work hard,” Marx said.

“I tried to do my job to the best of my abilities and I think everyone around me contributed even more than that. I think it was the guys around me who put me in this position. There are guys who do the tackles and work hard so that I can get on the ball.

“So it’s not just one person picking up the ball and stealing it. There are a lot of other factors that come into play and allow me to do that.