Stick says the 104th Springbok-All Black Test will decide the rugby championship

Stick says the 104th Springbok-All Black Test will decide the rugby championship

  • The winner of Saturday’s game against the All Blacks in Auckland will surely prevail as the defending champions of the Rugby Championship, said Springbok assistant coach Mzuwandel Stick.
  • The All Blacks and Springboks started the tournament on a positive note with wins over Argentina and Australia.
  • Stick said they will play any way that helps them win in Oakland.

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said the winner of Saturday’s rugby crisis championship test between South Africa and New Zealand will likely win the tournament.

The importance of the momentum being gathered from the rugby tournament has been widely spoken of, but in a World Cup year it is the William Webb Ellis Trophy that really counts.

Saturday’s match, the first at the Mount Smart Stadium with Eden Park claiming World Cup duty, is the first between the two sides in New Zealand in four years and the first in Auckland in six.

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The teams go into the game on the back of impressive wins against Argentina and Australia, and with the points spread narrow, Stick may be right in saying that the winner will have one hand on the regional cup.

“Saturday’s game is very important because we take every test match very seriously,” Steck said.

“The All Black Test is a big game, especially away from home and it’s hard to top the occasion.

“We’re trying to develop our systems for the World Cup, but All Black testing is still a big problem, so it remains very important.

“It will help the momentum of the World Cup, and I think this game will decide who wins the rugby championship.

“We prepared as best we could in every way possible because it’s a big game.”

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New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Ricco Ewan, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Tilea, 10 Richie Muonga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardi Savea, 7 Sam Kane (Captain), 6 Shannon Frizzell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick , 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Braydon Ennor, 23 Caleb Clarke

South Africa

15 Willy Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Colby, 13 Lujanio AM, 12 Damien De Allende, 11 Makazole Mpembe, 10 Damien Willemse, 9 Pfaff de Klerk, 8 Jasper Veese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Quagga Smith, 5 Lowwood de Jager, 4 Abin Etzebeth (Captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Stephen Ketchove

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marks, 17 Thomas Du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RJ Sneeman, 20 Peter Steve Du Toit, 21 Duane Vermeulen, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Mane Lieboc

Steck said they would do everything they could to get a positive result against New Zealand and not worry about their way of playing.

The Boks produced a gritty style of rugby in their 43-12 win over the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld, prompting concerns about whether they had shown their attacking hand at the World Cup.

Stick said the aim is to make sure they play their best rugby to ensure they beat the All Blacks.

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“I’m not sure what it means to show our hand,” Stick said.

“When you play against the All Blacks, you want to win and you have to be at your best, no matter what you stand for and what you’re up to.

“The main thing is to prepare so that we can give our best. We won’t back down from anything.”

“We will do anything we can to win against the All Blacks because it will not be easy.”

Saturday testing starts at 09:05 (South African time).

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