Botha trumps Thorn

Bakkies Botha rolled back the years as Toulon outmuscled Leicester in their European Champions Cup match on Saturday, writes BRENTON CHELIN.

The much anticipated match-up between two of rugby's hard men was cut short after Brad Thorn limped off after just 21 minutes. The New Zealander had struggled to impose himself in the opening quarter as Leicester failed to live with the pace and ferocity of the European champions.

Botha, along with fellow South African Juan Smith, was immense in the first half, carrying the ball strongly and putting in some solid hits on defence. A head collision with teammate Alexandre Menini forced Botha off the field just prior to half-time with a bloodied and broken nose.

He failed to return for the second half, but Botha did enough during his time on the field to take this brief, but bruising duel, and he has the scars to show for it.

Photos: Charles McQuillan/David Rogers/Getty Images