When people think about Malcolm Marx, the first image (at least currently) that comes into their heads is that bloody pest at a breakdown.
The Lions and Springbok hooker has been so busy slowing down or stealing ball that one actually tends to forget a bit about his other skills.
It was rather appropriate then that the 24-year-old star dotted down for an intercept try against the Jaguares in last weekend’s Super Rugby quarterfinal at Ellis Park.
Not only did remind all that Marx still has the pace from his days as blindside flanker at KES, it also illustrated again what an all-round presence he is on the field.
VIDEO: Marx on how he regained match-fitness so quickly after a mid-season injury
Lions Rugby Co star Malcolm Marx's simple philosophy of regaining match fitness so quickly after his mid-season injury. Super Rugby
Posted by The Citizen Sport on Tuesday, 24 July 2018
“I was actually laughing when I was running to the tryline,” the Lions talisman said on Tuesday.
“I was joking with the trainers beforehand that tight forwards don’t really seem to run a lot and score tries! How often does that happen? It’s the first intercept try of my career. I really enjoyed that moment.”
Indeed, being in a position to make that interception – remember, we’re talking about a hooker here – is quite special.
Little wonder the Waratahs, the Lions’ opponents in Saturday’s semifinal, then cite him as a key figure they’ll need to stop.
“From a forwards perspective, Malcolm is really a danger-man,” said Wallaby prop Tom Robertson from the ‘Tahs training base in Fourways on Tuesday.
“He plays in the front row but he gets around the park like a flanker. He’s pretty fit and quite handy with the basics too.”
But such is expectations that Marx’s main function will probably still be to poach as much ball as he can.
And he’s comfortable with that.
“I get my head stuck in at the rucks at training. It’s just about going for it when an opportunity presents itself,” said Marx.
“You can never plan. I played No 7 in high school and even though I shifted to hooker in matric, I sort of always still wanted to fulfill that (poaching) role.”
The Lions … and Springboks are grateful for that.