Home Sport Libbok could solve Springboks kicking problem

Libbok could solve Springboks kicking problem

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Manie Libbok’s could be just the player the Springboks need to have sort out their goal kicking woes.

Manie Libbok is a player who can help the Boks sort out their kicking problems. Picture: Steve Haag, INPHO, Shutterstock, BackpagePix

Durban – The Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says management has discussed the impact goal-kicking had on the defeat to Ireland, and that Jacques Nienaber will respond in due course, but maybe the answer is in the absence of Manie Libbok from the match-23 for Thursday’s SA ‘A’ game against Munster.

Libbok, the top points scorer in the first United Rugby Championship, was originally set to play for the SA ‘A’ team but there clearly has been a change in the plan after Damian Willemse and Cheslin Kolbe struggled off the kicking tee at the Aviva Stadium.

A painful lesson was learned against the Irish — you have to have a top goal-kicker — and Libbok’s absence from the SA ‘A’ squad surely means he will make his Springbok debut on Saturday in Marseille, with Willemse likely to move back to fullback and Kolbe reverting to the right wing.

There will also be a change to the team at lock because of the shoulder injury suffered by Lood de Jager.

“Lood is not available for this match and has gone for further consultations,” Davids said.

“Losing him as a No.5 lock is a blow but luckily we have experienced campaigners in Franco Mostert and Marvin Orie, who can slot in. It is a big void that has to be filled but those two guys are both capable of doing it.”

Regarding the goal-kicking, Davids said: “We discussed the whole goal-kicking situation as part of our review.

“Yes, we come to a decision on how to address it but the head coach (Nienaber) will tell you more about that on Tuesday (at the team announcement press conference).”

As usual when the Boks lose, refereeing has been a major topic of conversation among their fans, with Rassie Erasmus fuelling the fire with a video he tweeted showing refereeing inconsistencies, and Davids was asked if the Boks would be talking to the officials this week.

“It is a general protocol that we get an analysis of our performance (in terms of penalties),” he said. “We need to know where we were at fault so we can guide the players …

“Then when we prepare for opponents, we look at how they do things in certain areas, and if we want clarity we ask for it. That is part of a normal build-up to a game,” the forwards coach added.

“We had a good discussion about how we can improve in general, and we have to improve because France are a very good team. They are coming off a good win over Australia, so we need to be ready for what is going to be a very tough challenge.

“For instance, we had a good review of the set-pieces where we had mixed results, we had situations where we provided very good platforms, and other situations where we could have been better.

“What we are finding with our mauls is that the opposition are applying different strategies and we need to be aware of how to deal with that on a weekly basis.

“Before the start of this tour we were getting momentum in terms of the maul but this weekend we had some different challenges from Ireland but we have picked up how we can tweak things to get back to the results we want.”

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