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SA 'A' showed 'warrior mindset' in loss to Munster

By Ian Cameron
Henco van Wyk of South Africa Select XV during the match between Munster and South Africa Select XV at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Mzwandile Stick has claimed that his SA ‘A’ showed a ‘warrior mindset’ in their loss to Munster in a wet Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Thursday night.

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A depleted Munster side, who have struggled to make an impact in this season’s URC, beat the South Africans team 28-14, outscoring their guests four tries to two in front of a record crowd of 41,000 at the GAA stadium.  It is the most people to ever watch a rugby match in the province.

In truth, other than their setpiece dominance, the South Africans were second-best in pretty much every other facet of the game, despite having the on-paper advantage of some 14 Springboks.

“They played the conditions well and they used it to their advantage,” said Stick, who gave the Irish province plenty of credit in his post-match remarks. “We knew if we gave them soft entries into the 22, they would use it and there were chances that didn’t go our way. But I am proud of the boys for fighting until the end.

“In summary, we had a game plan that we didn’t execute well in the first half, and we also gave them soft penalties, and it cost us.”

“Credit to those guys,” Stick said of SA ‘A’s replacements on the night. ‘The bench brought massive energy. We may not have been on the right side of the scoreboard, but these young players showed their warrior mindset. We played in front a of passionate sold-out crowd, and that is also something the players will learn from.”

Skipper Thomas Du Toit said a failure to gel was behind the shock loss.

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“We are not making excuses – the team had minimal time together to put our structures in place and build cohesion and we also played in very different weather conditions,” said Du Toit. “Munster know each other very well, and they have been playing together for years, whereas we are a completely new team.”

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