Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has sprung to Manie Libbok’s defence about his goal-kicking that has become the centre of focus in the aftermath of the Boks win over Scotland on Sunday.
Libbok missed three kicks and was eventually replaced in kicking duties by Faf de Klerk as the Boks won an arm wrestle 18-3 against a motivated Scottish side to open their World Cup defence on a high.
But Libbok’s kicking per centage continues to frustrate and without any viable flyhalf options in the squad, it is understandable that it has become a talking point around the Boks’ World Cup campaign.
Libbok’s play outside the goalkicking has been sublime and he was a large part of the Bok victory over Scotland, highlighted by his no-look kick-pass to put Kurt-Lee Arendse away for the Boks’ second try.
And it wasn’t surprising that he won man of the match for his general play that has seen the Bok backline look more dangerous than ever.
So while it has become a repeated talking point surrounding Springbok matches and there is a fear that it may well become costly as the Rugby World Cup goes on, the Boks themselves aren’t too concerned – at least in public – about it.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber had an easy message for the detractors, saying it wasn’t a concern “as long as he wins man of the match awards,” with a smile.
But captain Siya Kolisi felt right to step in and defend his flyhalf from all the questions when it happened.