John Dobson wonders whether it was the right call by DHL Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok to gamble on a late drop goal in a 16-16 draw with Ospreys on Friday.
The Stormers were building phases deep in Ospreys territory in the closing stages of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship match played in torrential rain in Swansea.
Then, in the final minute, Libbok opted for a snap drop-goal attempt that sailed wide and the hosts held on to force the stalemate, which brought an end to the defending-champion Stormers’ 14-game winning streak.
Speaking post match on Libbok’s decision, Dobson told media: “He’s only 25 and he’s been around a bit in terms of provinces. I thought at the end there, he almost got away, which would have won it for us.
“Should he have gone for the drop? I don’t know, but he is special.”
The Stormers thought they had managed to engineer a match-winner when Libbok put Leolin Zas into a gap, before the speedster passed to send Paul de Wet over for the opening try.
However, shortly after Libbok kicked his third penalty to put the Stormers 16-9 up, Ospreys scored a converted try to level matters.
Dobson added: “We’ll be better for this, and I think we could have won it with a bit of better game management towards the end.
“We couldn’t see the field from where we were [in the coaches’ box]. I thought we did well in the conditions until the last few minutes.
“I thought it was one of our better performances, given the conditions. We scored one of our classic tries, which was nice to see.
“We’re satisfied. I think we’re playing with energy and maybe just letting ourselves down in one or two areas like the lineout. I thought we were reasonably good, tactically, probably up until those last 10 minutes. We had lots of territory.”