Keep knocking on the door.
That’s Bulls attack guru Chris Rossouw’s simple advice for upcoming star Manie Libbok.
The 22-year-old flyhalf has heaped pressure – at least in eyes of certain rugby fans – on veteran Morne Steyn, particularly as the perception exists that the former Bok pivot is partly to blame for the side’s sterile attack at the start of this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
“I don’t think it’s a question of how far Manie is off from displacing Morne in the starting line-up,” Rossouw said from Loftus on Monday.
“It’s really just about him keeping the pressure on through good performances of his own. Everybody knows that each individual has a different skillset.
“Manie is very eager to go and that’s understandable. But he needs to be patient. We can’t deny though that gives us a lot of flair.”
Libbok impressed as a roaming playmaker in the pre-season’s Superhero Sunday and injected pace into the Bulls’ flagging effort at Newlands almost a fortnight ago, notably making the linebreak that probably should’ve resulted in a potentially vital try for the visitors.
Yet Rossouw maintains that there needs to be perspective on the matter as Libbok is also still a bit raw around the edges.
“There are still some things that Manie needs to improve on and some of those skills he can hone by playing with Morne. Morne is the first to admit that he was very disappointed with his performance against the Stormers.
“But he brings unbelievable game management to the table as well as kicking control. And if you add attacking prowess to those two skills, you can potentially have a very nice mix. We also have Chris Smith who’s an unbelievable player too. There’s competition.”
While there’s a definitive contrast in styles between Libbok and Steyn, the picture is a bit more blurred when it comes to Bok scrumhalves Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier.
“Embrose has unbelievable X-factor, while Ivan arguably has the quickest service in local rugby. Ivan also loves a quick game where we build phases and outwork opposition. Embrose is on the up and he’ll control through his unpredictability. Their games are actually very similar and that’s a good thing,” said Rossouw.