Stick confident 'Jean-Claude van Damme' Boks will bounce back in Brisbane

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Mzwandile Stick. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Mzwandile Stick. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
  • Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said their players often likened themselves to famous actor Jean-Claude van Damme in how they had to fight back from difficult positions.
  • The Springboks must beat Australia in Brisbane on Saturday to keep their Rugby Championship hopes alive.
  • Stick said they'll only start thinking about the All Blacks once they get past Australia.

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said their players enjoy taking on the "Jean-Claude van Damme" role by staging fightbacks on the field.

The Springboks face the Wallabies in a must-win Rugby Championship encounter at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday on the back of last week's 28-26 loss to the same opponents in Gold Coast.

Stick cited the resurgence in the British & Irish Lions series where they lost the first Test, but came back to win the remaining two Tests as an example of their bouncebackability.

"Our guys like thinking that they're movie stars like Jean-Claude van Damme. You know that Van Damme has to cop a proper beating first before staging a wonderful comeback," Stick chuckled.

"If you look at the British & Irish Lions series, the guys didn't have the best of starts, but they were able to turn things around.

"We're in a similar situation where it feels like we're having to play play-off games, so Saturday's game feels like a quarter-final that we have to win."

The significance of the Australia Tests has not been lost on Stick, even though the rugby world awaits the following two clashes against New Zealand.

The 25 September game will be the 100th Test between the teams in 100 years since the sides first met on 13 August 1921 at the now-defunct Carisbrook Stadium in Dunedin.

The Springbok/All Black clash is eagerly awaited, especially with how the All Blacks hardly had to move through gears to beat Dave Rennie's charges three times this year while the Boks were clearly short of a gallop last week.

Stick made it clear they must beat Australia before they can entertain any thoughts of the All Blacks.

"It's important that we turn things around in this game and in order to stay alive in this competition, we need to win this game," Stick said.

"We're not too worried about what's going to happen against the All Blacks, we just need to concentrate on what we need to do against Australia and give the game our all."

Kick-off is at 09:05 (SA time) on Saturday.

Teams:

Australia

15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Feleti Kaitu'u, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia

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 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

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