Boks won’t hold anything back against All Blacks — Stick
“I don’t think we are going to hold back on anything, we are going to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure we win against the All Blacks."
Lukhanyo Am passes the ball during a Springboks captain’s run at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday, ahead of the Test against the All Blacks on Saturday. Picture: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Springboks backline coach Mzwandile Stick has insisted they will not hold back any cards when they take on New Zealand in the Rugby Championship on Saturday morning at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland (kick-off 09:05 am).
With this being a Rugby World Cup year and the Boks going to France as the defending champions and big contenders, there’s a notion that they might not show all their cards in the Championship ahead of the global showpiece.
The Northern Hemisphere sides are watching the Southern Hemisphere competition with a keen eye as they look to find weaknesses in the Boks, All Blacks, Wallabies and Pumas games. They’ll be looking to pick up the nitty-gritty details of how the southern powers play in the Rugby Championship, which is the final proper hit-out before they turn their attention to the World Cup.
‘Have to be at your best’
The Boks versus All Blacks game is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, forcing both teams to play all their cards and hold nothing back.
Stick, who was at the top table for the captain’s presser on Friday, was asked if they will show their full hand against the All Blacks.
“Regarding us showing our full hand, I’m not sure what that means,” Stick replied.
“If you play against the All Blacks, and want to win against them, you have to be at your best, irrespective of showing whatever you stand for and what you are building towards the World Cup. I think for us, the main thing was to prepare as best as possible, to make sure that when we pitch up on the field we perform at our best.
“I don’t think we are going to hold back on anything, we are going to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure we win against the All Blacks. It’s not going to be easy, it’s something that is very tough. I think we have prepped in the best possible way to make sure we win the game,” he said.
With the World Cup on the horizon, Saturday’s encounter is one that the Boks hope will fuel their momentum going to France and perhaps put them in a position to win another Rugby Championship title.
“We know we are trying to develop towards the World Cup and are building (towards that), but the All Blacks game is one we do not take lightly. It’s an important match, it will also help with our momentum heading towards the World Cup.
“In my view, the team that’s going to win the Championship, this game will decide that. So we have prepared well for this game, we even sent players (to New Zealand early) so they could prepare and acclimatise to the conditions,” Stick said.