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'Like him or not, Manie is doing amazing things'

“Whether you like him or not, Manie Libbok is doing amazing things on the field.”

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That was the phrase used by Breyton Paulse when he was asked about the constant criticism directed towards Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok.

Paulse has likened flyhalf Libbok to Tiger Woods in the x-factor that he brings to rugby and his ability to put his mistakes behind him.

There have been loads of concerns regarding Libbok’s ability as Springbok flyhalf and to some extent with good reason.

During the Springboks’ 18-3 World Cup Round One win over Scotland, Libbok was struggling with his goal-kicking.

The 26-year-old  missed three of his five attempts at goal.

However, quickly made up for it with his Man of the Match performance – which included a no-look foot pass that resulted in Kurt-Lee Arendse’s try early in the second half.

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Paulse revealed the fact that he can recover so well from errors just to show what a ‘special athlete’ he is.

The 47-year-old added that the constant questioning of Libbok at flyhalf for the Springboks in their World Cup campaign in France needs to be put to bed now.

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“Whether you like him or not, Manie is doing amazing things on the field,” Paulse said.

“He is a player with that x factor.

“I would take a player with that x-factor any given day.

” I spoke to John Dobson, coach of the Stormers, recently and he told me how Manie has this incredible ability that when he makes a mistake he forgets it and moves on within seconds. It takes a special athlete to be able to do that. Tiger Woods did it in golf.

“I think people don’t appreciate enough what Manie does off the ball as well and the way he creates and assists tries. That’s why the Springbok management backs Manie.”

 

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According to Paulse, Libbok and several other players in this current Springbok team make it a more dangerous proposition than the 2019 side that won the World Cup in Japan.

“I believe this team is much more dangerous than the one in 2019,” Paulse said.

“You have players like Canan Moodie, Kurt-Lee Arendse, André Esterhuizen and Cheslin Kolbe who like to run.

“So the Springboks will kick because that’s part of their DNA, but when it’s on they will have a go and then you have someone like Manie part of that.

“Add to the fact that Rassie Erasmus is currently living rent-free in the other coaches’ heads, and with this whole demeanour the other teams are really starting to fear us. That’s a big positive off the field.”

 

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