Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton comes in support of Manie Libbok

Ireland recorded a 13-8 victory over South Africa in Saint-Denis
Ireland recorded a 13-8 victory over South Africa in Saint-Denis
©Foto de Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby vía Getty Images

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton has came in support of South Africa's young fly-half Manie Libbok despite his indifferent performance in the recently concluded encounter between the two teams at Stade de France.

Libbok, who scored the opening penalty in the game against Ireland, missed a conversion and a three-pointer in the 53rd and 64th minutes respectively while Faf de Klerk also sent two long-range penalties wide as the Springboks went on to lose the encounter with a slender 8-13 margin.

“Manie did some outstanding things,” Sexton said.

“He set up that try too he’s a handful with the ball. He’s got tricks and stuff like that.

“Every kicker goes through a period like that in their career. I definitely went through the same during a World Cup in 2011. It’s tough but you get stronger on the back of it.

“When you do come out the other side you’re a better kicker for it. There isn’t a kicker in the world who has not gone through a period like that.”

Meanwhile, Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber refused to blame their goal-kicking for the defeat to Ireland.

“We missed a couple of points off the tee but I won’t say that is the reason solely for not getting across the line.

“In the first half alone we lost two balls close to the try line.

"And we lost opportunities to get points off the tee, so I won’t say it is only goal-kicking. I know you guys will probably say that, but there were opportunities we didn’t use.”


Ireland Fixtures