Rugby Championship

Stick wants Boks to show All Black-like ruthlessness

2018-08-22 09:50
Mzwandile Stick (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick was as pleased as anyone to see his side creating opportunities against Argentina in Durban on Saturday. 

The Boks emerged 34-21 winners, scoring six tries to three to claim a bonus point win, but they left a lot of points out on the field. 

Handre Pollard's boot cost the Boks 13 points, but of more concern to Stick and the rest of the Springbok management was the side's inability to turn pressure and good field position into points.

The Boks ventured into the Pumas 22 numerous times in the first half, but a combination of poor execution at the lineout and in open play meant they went into the break 14-10 down. 

It is an area where Stick says the Boks must be better, and one where the All Blacks currently set the benchmark in world rugby. 

"We created a lot of opportunities last week, which is nice, but we need to learn how to convert them into points now," Stick said shortly after the side landed in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

"As someone who is attack-driven and an attack coach, it was great to see our outside backs converting those opportunities.

"That's going to be our main focus moving forward, to ensure that all of the opportunities we get and all of the possession we have, we turn to points.

"That is what the All Blacks are specialising in ... if you give them a sniff in the game, they punish them.

"At the moment, currently, I think we are heading in the right direction."

Turning his attention to the Pumas, Stick knows that the Boks are in for a massive challenge in Mendoza this Saturday.

"They are getting better as a team, especially if you look at the Jaguares winning six games in a row in Super Rugby," he said.

"They will start having that belief that they can beat anyone in the world.

"The All Blacks have been the best team in the world for the last few years, but for us the focus is not on what they are doing but rather making sure that we get better as a team."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 21:10 (SA time).


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