Springboks’ Mzwandile Stick
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Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has hit out at critics of their style of play.
The Boks recently beat the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in a home series but there were many critics across the world who criticised the team’s apparent lack of invention.
Former All Blacks mentor Steve Hansen was the latest pundit this week to join several others in bemoaning the quality of the recently concluded series against the Lions, opining that both teams merely wanted to “beat each other up”.
Stick, who is responsible for the Boks’ attack, is not perturbed though and said he would rather be part of a winning team.
“It doesn’t bother us. It is what it is,” Stick told reporters during an online media conference from the team’s base in Queensland.
“I’m still confused about the criticism. I don’t understand. People keep criticising how we are playing the game. If you look at our wings, Makazole Mapimpi is scoring a lot of tries. Cheslin Kolbe is scoring brilliant tries, Lukhanyo Am is playing great rugby, Willie le Roux at the back has been one of the best guys seeing space around the field.
“We are scoring more points than the teams we are playing against. If people have a problem about how we play, unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it.
“We won’t change who we are. We will stick to our DNA. We will stick to what we do best. We won’t be influenced by the white noise out there. We are on the right track winning games.”
Stick said their world No 1 status naturally lends itself for the envy of detractors.
“People will always talk about us whether it is positive or negative. Unfortunately it is the nature of the position in which we are. It goes back to a saying I believe in: ‘A dog doesn’t bark at the car that is standing still… a dog only barks at a car that is moving’.
“When you are doing the right things and are achieving in life… in the past, when the Springboks perhaps weren’t winning games, people weren’t paying that much attention. People didn’t care at that time about what we do and how we play. Now we are winning and people are talking and we have made peace with it,” Stick said.