Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
3 minute read
13 Nov 2021
8:22 am

Boks to stick with same blueprint against Scots — Stick

Ross Roche

The South Africans will have a new No 10 in Elton Jantjies in charge today and the flyhalf has been given permission to play it as he sees it.

Assistant Springboks coach Mzwandile Stick says the team will stick to their blueprint against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says the Boks will continue to stick to their plan as they take on hosts Scotland in their end-of-year-tour clash at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon (kickoff 3pm).

With many people questioning whether the Boks will change their approach or institute a different style against what is expected to be a more attacking minded Scottish side, Stick explained on Friday that the Boks will continue to do what works for them.

“One thing from our side is we don’t listen to what people outside say. Everyone has an opinion about us, like our style of play, but it doesn’t change who we are,” said Stick.

“The most important thing for us is to make sure that we execute our plan well to make sure that we achieve what we want to. I think Scotland are an all-rounder team, if you look at the balance in their side they have very physical players and if you give them time and space at the back they will punish you.

“So for us the key thing is to make sure that we execute our plan and make sure we are physical. So, it’s going to be a tough one but I think we are up for the challenge.”

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The Boks will also be coming up against a familiar foe on the reffing front with Angus Gardner in charge of the game, which will be the first time he has reffed the Boks since the infamous Owen Farrell no arms tackle call against England in 2018.

“Regarding the match official, for us it’s a new game, and our process doesn’t change, even if it was a different ref. We have a process that we follow and we haven’t done anything different this week,” admitted Stick.

“The main focus is to focus on the things that we can control, all the other stuff is not in our hands, so we just have to make sure that we play our best game.”

Despite the Boks having a more attacking option at flyhalf in the form of Elton Jantjies for the match, the team isn’t expected to move away from the game plan against Scotland, with any players coming in set to stick to the team’s blueprint.

ALSO READ: Bok flyhalf Jantjies not worried about Scottish mind games

“As a team we won’t change our plan just because of one player, we know Elton and he’s got that x-factor on attack, but we won’t change how we play the game,” explained Stick.

“Elton understands and accepts that, but what we do as coaches is give players freedom. If they see an opportunity on the field to keep the ball in hand they always have that freedom and our support to do that.

“So I don’t think Elton will try something different against Scotland, he knows our plan very well. He has been with us for a long time and he is always effective in how we want to play the game.

“When it comes to our set pieces it’s something that we take pride in, so I don’t think we will change much, but if the opportunities come for them to put the ball into the wider spaces they know they can take those opportunities any time.”