Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok in the URC final. Photo: IOL.

Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok in the URC final. Photo: IOL/Photography.

Stormers boss comes out to bat for under-fire Manie Libbok

John Dobson has thrown his support behind Manie Libbok after the player received online abuse following the Stormers’ defeat in URC final.

Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok in the URC final. Photo: IOL.

Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok in the URC final. Photo: IOL/Photography.

Stormers coach John Dobson has come out in defence of Manie Libbok, saying the flyhalf is not to blame for their team’s loss to Munster in the URC Grand Final.

With the final in Cape Town, the Stormers were odds-on favourites beat Munster in front of their home crowd at the DHL Stadium. But it wasn’t to be for the Capetonians as they relinquished their URC title to Munster after slumping to a 19-14 defeat in the Mother City.

ALSO READ: Why you shouldn’t slate Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok

One player who wasn’t at his best was Libbok. The 25-year-old was off the pace and made several unforced errors, including a clearance kick that was charged down which led to Munster scoring the match-winning try in the 76th minute, after the Stormers had led 14-12 for the best of the second half.

Libbok’s performance has led to widespread criticism, some of which has to an extent spilled over to online abuse of the player.


Dobson has now come out in defence of his player by reiterating that Munster were the better team overall and deserved to win their final.

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

ALSO READ: Stormers to be boosted by R15 million new home turf


To further drive home his point, Dobson added that the poor state of the pitch was a big contributing factor to Libbok’s unusual performance.

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

“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,” the Stormers boss explained.

“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.”

John Dobson to lead Stormers in URC against Munster.
Stormers coach John Dobson. Photo: Supplied.