Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Manie Libbok continues to impress as Bok management show full faith in him

Against Los Pumas at Ellis Park Libbok was integral in the Springboks coming away with a tight 22-21 win.

Flyhalf Manie Libbok has continued to impress with another strong showing in his second start for the Springboks in their tight win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship at Ellis Park this past Saturday.

Libbok has played in all three Tests so far this season; he started against the Wallabies before coming off the bench against the All Blacks, and this has taken his Bok appearance tally to six after he featured three times off the bench on last year’s end-of-year-tour.

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Libbok will more than likely be in the match-23 for the Boks’ first World Cup warm-up game in Buenos Aires this coming weekend, but he might have to play off the bench if the team management decide to give Damian Willemse another run in the No 10 jersey.

Against Los Pumas at Ellis Park Libbok was integral in the team coming away with the tight win as he landed two conversions and a penalty, while scoring the all-important third try for the Boks that proved to be the match winner.

Tough game

“It was a tough game. Argentina are a tough team. They never back down or go away and stay in the fight and keep coming at you for the full 80 minutes. So credit to them for putting up such a big fight against us,” said Libbok after the match.

“I am just happy that we handled the pressure quite well and managed to get the win. I am enjoying my rugby at the moment. It is lekker to start and I am enjoying the challenge.

“It was amazing (to score). I am really happy to have scored my first try. It was an amazing feeling and I was really happy.”

The Bok management has firmly backed Libbok as well with them releasing Elton Jantjies from the current squad ahead of the naming of the 33-man squad to take part in the World Cup.

Growing stature

Jantjies was brought in as injury cover for Handre Pollard, but with him well on the mend, coupled with Libbok’s growing stature, the management obviously feel they are well covered in the position as they also have Willemse to fall back on.

Despite this nod of approval Libbok is not looking ahead to the World Cup yet, and is just focused on the task at hand.

“I am not looking far ahead to the World Cup. Obviously there is the biggest goal to make the squad to go to the World Cup. But there are quality players in this group, especially in my position,” explained Libbok.

“So my focus now is to take every opportunity to play, put my best foot forward and give my all for the team. If I get selected for the World Cup it will be a dream come true, but that will come later.”