Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney says wing Raymond Rhule has received some unfair criticism for his defensive play.

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The Springbok’s defensive frailties have been well-documented, particularly in 2017 when he proved to be a liability on defence in South Africa’s Rugby Championship campaign.

It has been more of the same in the Stormers’ Super Rugby campaign so far, as Rhule has been found wanting on defence on a number of occasions.

However, Feeney says it is harsh to single him out.

“People don’t see the quality he [Rhule] brings to training and his professionalism and the research he does,” said Feeney.

“He’s been great for us. He missed a couple of tackles, but no more than anyone else. I look after the unstructured defence and I know who misses tackles and who doesn’t.

“It is a bit harsh when he misses a tackle on Waisake Naholo. There were a few people that missed him [Naholo].

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“He missed one against the Blues on Rieko Ioane… aw that is a big sin isn’t it? But people don’t look at it like that.

“Have a look at some of the people he has been trying to tackle, they are some of the best-attacking players in the world. He won’t be the last to miss Naholo or Rieko, I can tell that for free.

“Individual tackle technique is something we are working on constantly with all our players and for him to get singled out I think is exceptionally harsh.”

The Stormers face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

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