“We Need To Be Ready Mentally And Physically” – Mzwandile Stick

 

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, who played at the Adelaide Oval in his days as a Blitzbok, also stressed the importance of being mentally switched on until the final whistle, saying the Wallabies have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with at home.

“All our attention has been on Australia in the last two weeks and we also looked at their matches against Argentina, so we know what to expect from them,” said Kolisi.

“We have prepared well, we know what they are going to bring, and we know what we must improve on going into the game, so it’s going to be a big challenge.”

Stick was wary of the threat the hosts posed and said: “If we don’t pitch up mentally, we will be punished. We watched the match between Argentina and Australia two weeks ago and we know it will be the same for both teams this week.

“We need to be ready mentally and physically, and if we do that, hopefully, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”

Commenting on playing at the Adelaide Oval, the first Test the Boks will play at this venue in South Australia, Stick spoke highly of the quality of the pitch and said it brought back fond memories from his Blitzbok days.

“We had our captain’s run at the stadium and the pitch is looking good,” said Stick.

“I know the stadium well from my Springbok Sevens days, and it looks like weather-wise it is going to be a beautiful day. We know it is going to be a tough challenge, but we are excited.”

Of his experience playing at the stadium, Stick said: “This used to be a happy hunting ground for the Blitzboks, and Adelaide is a lot like Bloemfontein where we also enjoy a lot of support. With most of the Australian players also coming from the big cities, this will be new ground for both teams, so we are looking forward to the match.”

Stick hoped that the backline would have the opportunity to showcase their skills, especially with exciting play-maker Warrick Gelant getting an opportunity on the right wing in a back three with Makazole Mapimpi (left wing) and Damian Willemse (fullback).

“We have a game plan we want our players to bring their X-factor,” said Stick.

“Warrick and all the other players have the freedom to make decisions on the field and with him having played with Damian at the Stormers, we are hoping to see them combine well and show what makes them special.”