Bok coach points out that World Cup rugby is not all champagne and no grit

Bok coach points out that World Cup rugby is not all champagne and no grit

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick reminded fans that come knockout time at the Rugby World Cup, winning rugby is not necessarily flashy rugby.

The defending champions are at the business end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, where teams have to make each opportunity count. The Boks find themselves up against hosts France in what promises to be a blockbuster quarter-final affair at the iconic Stade de France on Sunday evening.

Speaking to, Stick cast his mind back to the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final against France. In torrential rain and a flooded Kings Park in Durban, just one try was scored as the Boks won the war of attrition against their northern hemisphere rivals.

"World Cup rugby does not need to be pretty," said Stick.

"You can go back to 1995, there was nothing about beautiful rugby in that game. The World Cup is a tough tournament. Most finals were won through kicking.

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"Even the 2019 Final - it is great to see the final score of 32-12 - it was a game between Handre Pollard and Owen Farrell.

"Handre kept ticking the scoreboard over and England started to feel the scoreboard pressure... doing things that they don't normally do.

"Unfortunately, World Cup rugby is not always about champagne rugby."

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Stick also responded to a recent slight from All Blacks coach Ian Foster, who cited South Africa's ball-in-play time against Ireland as a reason for the Boks not being exciting.

"Ian Foster can say whatever he wants to say about how we play the game, but the game between South Africa and Ireland - ask anybody at that stadium - the spectators were entertained for 80 minutes,' quipped Stick

"He has the right to express his opinion, but ask anyone - they were entertained by out game against Ireland. For me, that was the game of the tournament, so far."

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