South Africa ‘A’ coach Mzwandile Stick and captain Thomas du Toit were bitterly disappointed after the team’s defeat against Munster at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork on Thursday night, in the first of their two mid-week matches on the year-end tour.
Munster outscored the SA ‘A’ team 28-14 with four tries to two, although had a few opportunities stuck for the visitors, the result could have been different.
Speaking after the match, Stick gave credit to Munster for their performance on a wet and windy night in Ireland.
“They played the conditions well and they used it to their advantage,” said Stick.
“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.”
Stick added if Suleiman Hartzenberg’s try was in and a few other chances went their way, it could have been a very different result: “But I’m sure the youngsters will learn from this.”
It was not all doom and gloom for Stick, as he praised the spark his bench injected: “Credit to those guys, 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.”
Du Toit said one of the contributing factors to the defeat was the fact that they only had a few days to train and gel against a well-rounded and settled Munster team.
“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.”
With another fixture lined up next week Thursday against the Bristol Bears, Stick said they would go back to the drawing board and work on the necessary improvements in an attempt to deliver a winning performance.