Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Stopping Manie Libbok will be a challenge for Glasgow, says Dobson

Restricting a player of Libbok’s character is almost impossible, according to Stormers coach John Dobson.

Stormers director of rugby John Dobson believes that Glasgow Warriors’ plan to stop Manie Libbok will be extremely tough to implement when the teams meet in their United Rugby Championship (URC) quarterfinal in Scotland on Saturday night (8.35pm kick-off).

Earlier in the week Glasgow assistant coach Nigel Carolan admitted that a big focus for them would be stopping Libbok and disrupting the Stormers attacking threat that more often than not starts with the Bok flyhalf.

However, Dobson said this week that stopping a player of Libbok’s character was almost impossible and admitted they were not worried about their hosts targeting their playmaker.

World class flyhalf

“I suppose it is pretty obvious that they would target him. He is a world class flyhalf and does a lot for our game. So they will be looking to try and throw him out of his stride, but I am not sure how you would do that,” said Dobson.

“We are very much a team that is self-focused and try to improve ourselves. So I don’t know how they would throw him off his game. Try make him tackle more? If they did that they would be unpleasantly surprised because his defence is really good.

“I am not sure how they will try and create a situation (to throw him off). The one thing we have learned about Manie over the years is he doesn’t get rattled. He can miss one or two kicks and then slot one from touch to win us a semifinal.

“It is one of his great strengths as a player (not being overwhelmed). So we understand their tactic as long as its legal, which I am sure it will be, and we will just have to see how it goes.”

Roos loss

The Scottish hosts did, however, receive a boost in the form of in-form loose forward Evan Roos being ruled out of the knockout game for the visitors through concussion.

Warriors head coach Franco Smith admitted it was a loss for the Stormers, although he felt his replacement Willie Engelbrecht would go just as hard.

“I agree that he might be a loss for them. We all know that he is a good player. The try he scored against the Lions, out of nowhere, turned the dial for them in that game,” said Smith.

“He’s an inspiration. He symbolises what the Stormers stand for, that X-factor and the ability to change a small opportunity into something on the scoreboard.

“But we know Willie well. He’s a strong ball-carrier. He played against us in November. We have a good idea of what he is going to bring to the game.

“John (Dobson) will be the first to admit that they have contracted well and have good squad depth. They might miss Evan, but that won’t change the challenge that we are facing.”

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