Springbok legend Beast Mtawarira says Manie Libbok has the temperament to handle the big moments in a World Cup, but needs to improve his strike rate off the kicking tee.
ENGLAND’S disciplinary woes will reach a nadir this week with both Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola under the spotlight, but for Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira it is pretty clear cut what needs to happen this week, especially concerning the former.
Mtwarira was frank in assessment, speaking truth to power, as he began the week promoting solutions to help power South Africa.
Owen Farrell initially escaped sanction last week when a Six Nations review panel judged that his dangerous tackle on Taine Basham during England’s warm-up against Wales last weekend had not breached the red card threshold. Subsequently, World Rugby appealed the decision, with the new hearing set to be heard on Tuesday.
Farrell did not play this past weekend against Ireland in a 29-10 loss as he awaits the appeal. But for former Springbok Mtawarira, a key member of the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, the decision should be black and white.
Mtawaira said: “It is a little bit unfair for Farrell to just get a slap on the wrist for that hit against that Welsh player. It was blatant … He deserves punishment for that.
“He has been employing that technique for a long time. He needs to get some assistance and help regarding his tackle technique because it is very poor. He is going to cost his team in the long run if he doesn’t fix it.”
Mtwarira has become something of an international man of travel, jetting off to all parts to promote new business ventures and brands. He departed for the United States this past weekend ahead of the Springboks’ mauling of Wales and would have been pleased to note a momentum-building performance from the men in Green and Gold.
“There is a great balance of youth and experience in the Springbok squad for the World Cup,” he mused of the 33-man squad that will go to France in September to defend the Webb Ellis Cup.
“It is lovely to see a youngster like Canan Moodie be in that squad,” he continued, referring to the 20-year-old wing, who was the Player of the Match in the game after scoring a brace of tries. “He is going to add a lot of value to the Springboks in their campaign at the World Cup.
“There are many others as well, like (Kurt-Lee) Arendse. It is an exciting team.
“It is unfortunate for Handre (Pollard) to miss out. That is probably the one place that we are missing a big-match temperament player.
“Handre is that guy who will step up to take that penalty in a quarter-final to win a game. It is a bit hard to put that on the shoulders of Manie Libbok because he has just started defining his position in the Springbok squad and to carry that burden.
“He can answer that call. I certainly believe that. He has shown that he is that kind of player that can produce great form when needed.
“He needs to work on his kicking,” Mtwarira added, after another Test in which the Stormers flyhalf completed only a 56% success rate at poles.
“He is going to have to bring it up to probably 85% and above. He needs to be more consistent, especially at a World Cup. It is a pity that Handre is not there, but I still believe Manie will step up.”
Mtwarira will be busy, starting this week and for the foreseeable future, tackling the country’s most pressing issue – the current energy issue. In partnership with Wetility – and facilitated by Roc Nation – Mtwarira will launch the Beast Bundle this week.
The power package will include a cutting-edge solar solution paired with surge protection, a smart geyser and more at a value-for-money price point, while considering the impact on the environment.
“It is another partnership that really shows my values and what I am all about,” Mtwarira explained of the Beast Bundle.
“As we currently stand every single South African is impacted by load shedding by one way or the other. So, I am super excited to be a part of the solution.”
* For more on the Beast Bundle, launched on Monday, visit wetility.energy