Rugby | Stick feels Boks 'became too selfish'

Cape Town – Springbok backline coach Mzwandile Stick says creativity is vital heading into the second Test against Ireland in Johannesburg on Saturday.

In last weekend’s first Test in Cape Town, South Africa lost 26-20 to an intelligent Ireland side who were forced to play with 14 men for close on an hour.

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 (Mvovo) looked dangerous when he got involved in the game. Players need the freedom to play what they see.”

The former Blitzboks 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.

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