The Suncorp Stadium again spooked the Springboks, who were as awful as the Wallabies were awesome. This was a good old fashioned thrashing, writes Mark Keohane.
It was also the Springboks worst performance since 2017 and comfortably the poorest display in the Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber era.
Erasmus and Nienaber’s teams are renowned for the playing blueprint of a set piece, not having the ball, incredible defence and match conditioning. The Boks in Brisbane looked spent on the hour, the substitutes offered little by way of impact, the lineout drive was negated by clever and stoic Australian defence and the Boks were comfortably second in the contest.
The world champions played like a team doubting their blueprint for the first time, attempted to play with width but only succeeded in playing laterally and so far behind the gain line that they were a danger to themselves with ball in hand.
Crucially, they lacked discipline and forgot the basics of making a tackle.
The one-one-one defending was pitiful at times and the Boks missed 20 tackles in conceding four tries.
Faf de Klerk’s discipline was diabolical and his early sin-binning was for cynical play, but it should have been for stupidity. De Klerk was poor in the 28-26 defeat a week ago and even worse in the 30-17 humbling on Saturday.
The Boks lacked energy and there was little appetite to make tackles, scramble in defence and not miss one on one tackle situations. Mentally the Boks look shot after the Lions series win.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper epitomised every thing that was good about Australia’s attitude and unfortunately there wasn’t a Hooper equivalent wearing green.
Bok utility forward Franco Mostert a week ago said the Wallabies were hungrier and more desperate than the Boks after the 28-26 defeat. That comment in itself was concerning because if there was a lack of hunger a week ago, then then was absolutely no hunger in this bashing.
The Boks play the All Blacks in back-to-back Tests in the next two weekends and I am expecting a response in attitude and desperation, but few would be betting on the Boks to turn around the mess of the successive Wallabies defeats.
The Boks have a blueprint that brings victories and they need to revert to that blueprint and blank out the noise that it makes them a dull and one-dimensional team with the power to kill the game of rugby.
I will take the Springboks – in attitude and game plan – who beat the Lions every Saturday over the confused, ill-disciplined and dire lot who got rolled in SunCorp.
A week is a long time in sport, but the next six days will seem very short for the Springboks and Nienaber as they try and find themselves, their mongrel and their mojo.
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 18, 2021