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Dobson comes to Manie's defence

REACTION: Stormers head coach John Dobson said it is not fair that Manie Libbok gets the blame for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Final defeat to Munster.

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Dobson’s side lost the match 14-19 after Munster flank John Hodnett crashed over for a 76th-minute try.

The Stormers were 14-12 in front for most of the second half before Libbok had an attempted clearing kick charged down, and the resultant Munster pressure led to Hodnett scoring.

Libbok received a lot of criticism from fans for the incident, but Dobson doesn’t want to hear any of it.

“I don’t look at social media because it is so emotional,” said Dobson.

“We lost that game because Munster played really well in the first half and they showed enormous character on defence in the second half.

“I thought Manie’s general game and option taking was good.”

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Dobson added: “We didn’t do the right thing off the scrum that led up to the moment you are referring to and that wasn’t Manie’s call either.

“Manie had a solid game. Munster played well and they deserved to win.”

With a poor playing surface at Cape Town Stadium, Dobson believes the conditions didn’t suit Libbok’s playing style.

“Our game model isn’t suited to the conditions we played in. Maybe we should have adapted to that more.

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“It’s asking a lot from a big scrumming team and a team that loves to play so-called scintillating and counter-attacking rugby and uses massive line speed [on defence].

“In the first half when we came hard off the line and Munster got the bridge passes over to the wings, our guys couldn’t turn and get back and we were just slipping.

“I don’t want to use that as an excuse but I am just trying to explain it in the context of Manie.

“That wasn’t Manie’s perfect conditions and also Munster did very well in the way they defended against him.”

@rugby365com

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