Rugby Championship

Beat the passion first, then take the game - Stick

2018-08-23 21:24
Mzwandile Stick (Gallo)

Cape Town - Passion and pride.

That is the first thing to overcome to win a game in Argentina. And the Springboks know that.

Los Pumas, under coach Mario Ledesma are a different force in their own backyard and the Boks know that if they are to come out on top with a victory, they will need to overcome the emotion and passion that the locals bring to the game.

READ: Boks to 'do the double' over Argentina - bookies

Home ground advantage is nothing new in sport, but there is a latin charm about Los Pumas, their exceptional ability to never give up on their home turf, and the inexplicable manner in which they are able to counter some of the best rugby thrown at them at times. And while their recent record is nothing to boast about, South African sides have struggled - with all four Super Rugby sides coming unstuck in Buenos Aires.

According to, the game in Mendoza will be no less intimidating, and Bok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has taken note of this.

"I think from my side, first things first, if you look at the way Argentina is playing, they always play with their heart, especially when they play at home," he said.

"I know how much pride they have especially when they wear their national jersey. So they will always come and give you a tough game and we have seen them previously when they played against New Zealand. They are always passionate and make sure they will challenge you. We know it is the same thing when it comes to this weekend, we know they are going to challenge us, especially in the breakdowns. 

"We saw last week they gave us a tough time in the breakdowns, especially in the wider channels. They are getting better as a team, if you look at the way they played as the Jaguares, they won six games away from home and they are going to start playing with belief they can beat anyone all around the world," he said.

Stick said that while the All Blacks were the yardstick, the Boks weren't looking past this weekend.

"You mentioned the All Blacks. The All Blacks have always been the best team in the past couple of years. But for us the main focus is not to look at what they are doing, but to make sure we get better as a team also. We have coach Rassie who started working with the team in June, so we also have our own personal goals as a team," he said.

"We also have a process which we have to follow, and I think currently where we are, we are going in the right direction. There are a lot of opportunities we missed last week, but the nice thing is that we created the opportunities and we must learn to convert them into points now. As someone who is more attack driven, an attack coach and believes in attack it was great to see - especially with the momentum the forwards were giving us - our outside backs converting those opportunities into points.

"That is going to be our main focus going forward, to ensure all the opportunities that we get in a game that we turn that into points. We need to be brutal - that is what the All Blacks are, if you give them a sniff in the game they will punish you. So that is what we are also working very hard to do," he said.

READ: 15 stats and facts: Argentina v Springboks

Stick said that the Boks had a lot of respect for Ledesma, who had served as Wallaby assistant coach for a long time before heading home.

"Surely with the Australians he has also gained a lot of experience. When it comes to Argentina they are going in the right direction, they have some of the best respected players in the world. When you look at (Nicolas) Sanchez and you look at (Agustin) Creevy, and when you look at them in the World Cup they always come up with those surprises and you can never underestimate them, especially when they are playing at home. They are a good side and they have great players in their squad. At any given day when you allow them to play their game they will punish you. They are a good side, we respect them," said Stick.

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Kick-off is at 21:10 SA time.



15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Substitutes: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21, Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse


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