Stick feels Boks ‘became too selfish’

Date published: June 15 2016

Springbok backline coach Mzwandile Stick says that creativity is vital going into the second Test against Ireland in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

South Africa lost 26-20 to an intelligent Ireland side with a man down for most of the game. But Stick is adamant that the Springboks need to express themselves in order to meet their potential. 

"I’m trying to create an environment, where the players have the freedom to make decisions during open play and express themselves. We create those scenarios on the training field and give them the options," he told Business Day.

"We need to create a game plan that also complements how the players want to play. If you take Damian de Allende’s evasive skills away from him, you’re going to kill his rugby. You need to create situations, where De Allende can take on a man one-on-one.

"We also saw that Lwazi (Mvvo) looked dangerous when he got involved in the game. Players need the freedom to play what they see."

The former Blitzbokke-stalwart said the Springbok backline needed to show better game management in the upcoming second-Test in Johannesburg.

"The problem wasn’t creating the space, the space was out wide for us to use, but everyone wanted to get into those spaces," added Stick.

"That showed poor game management. Sometimes, you have to punch holes in the middle to create gaps out wide. All of the players were guilty of being too excited when we saw that space out wide.

"A guy like Willie (le Roux) is one that always wants to be in that space. Sometimes, we became too selfish, but that is something we’ve been working on during the week.

"At times, we played too much rugby in our half and when we got into their half, the guys were running out of energy. This week we’ve got to play in the right areas."