Rugby Championship

Bok assistant coach Stick on criticism from NZ press: 'We don't care what they think'

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Mzwandile Stick and Siya Kolisi. (Photo by Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images)
Mzwandile Stick and Siya Kolisi. (Photo by Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images)
  • Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said they're not bothered about what the New Zealand press thinks about them ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks.
  • The Springboks and the All Blacks will be meeting for the 100th time at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.
  • Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said it's not the first time they've found themselves in a difficult position ahead of an All Black Test.

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said he couldn't be bothered by what the New Zealand press thought about how they play ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test between them and the All Blacks in Townsville.

The game will be the 100th between the sides and the Boks are not only underdogs, but go into the game under pressure due to two consecutive losses against Australia.

Stick said they're all about their own processes and what they need to get right to eliminate the errors that blighted them in the defeats against Australia.

"We don't care about what they think. It doesn't bother us. We are focusing on what we can do better," Stick said.

"We're focusing on improving the way we want to play, so what people say about how we play the game doesn't bother us.

"People are entitled to have their opinions, but that doesn't bother us as we focus on what we want to do better as a team."

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi also refused to use bubble and travel fatigue as an excuse for their downturn in performances in the losses to Australia.

"We knew before we came here that we were going to be here for this long. That hasn't been a problem," Kolisi said.

"It has been tough, but we made the decision before we came here so we weren't going to use that as an excuse.

"We'll never use the excuse of being here for a long time. We're training well and prepared at all times."

Kolisi said they've been in this position where they've needed to fight back from a difficult position against the All Blacks.

In the lead-up to the famous 36-34 win against New Zealand in Wellington in 2018, the Boks had gone onto the game on the back of consecutive defeats against Argentina and Australia.

"We do think about those things and it is something that we've done before. It's not like we're being asked to do something new," Kolisi said.

"Its another Test match and we're being asked to do something that we've done before and a lot of the guys in the team have won against the All Blacks."

Teams

All Blacks

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Quinn Tupaea

Springboks

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

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