Sunday, November 16, 2008
French flyhalf Frederic Michalak had a nightmare return back to the Top 14 yesterday against Toulon, as he not only missed a handful of kicks, but took a massive knock to go with it.
Toulouse won the match 19-18 in the end, but it was no thanks to Michalak who, in his first game back after the Currie Cup win with the Sharks in South Africa, looked rusty and out of sorts.
He was booed by the fans and eventually replaced as a kicker by Gaffie Du Toit, who slotted the two kicks asked of him, bringing relief to the sell-out crowd.
Michalak, still only 26 believe it or not, showed little form or confidence as he missed kick after kick. The whistling from the crowd told the story.
"I think that's normal because I missed five or six kicks. I knew it would be a difficult match for me and I'm going to have to work more because I lacked my composure, with Byron Kelleher and with everybody," he said afterwards.
"More was expected of me but the main thing is that Toulouse won, not with my kicks but from the boot of Gaffie Du Toit," added Michalak.
So as if having a poor day with the boot isnt enough, early in the second half we saw Toulon center Mafileo Kefu put this crunching hit in on Freddie. The pass from Kelleher wasnt the kindest ever as Kefu, the younger brother of former Wallaby Totai, lined him up, then hit him hard.
After a fairly mediocre season with the Sharks, Michalak will now have a lot to prove at Toulouse, with the number 10 jersey already fiercely contested by Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and David Skrela.