The Springboks have more questions than answers after a disastrous start to their end-of-year tour against Ireland. KweséESPN looks at five issues that came out of the match and need to be addressed before Saturday's second Test against France in Paris.
Are Allister Coetzee's days numbered?
Saturday's thrashing by Ireland looks like the result that has sealed Allister Coetzee's fate if the latest reports are to be believed. Coetzee's record of nine wins in 22 matches is a terrible return, but the way the Boks lost at the Aviva Stadium is even more concerning. They looked clueless in almost all departments of the game, and played without the passion and fight that we have come accustomed to from South African teams. It begs the question if the Bok coach still has the dressing room on his side. But it seems that won't matter after this tour is done ...
Springbok pride and mongrel missing again
After a physical and abrasive performance in their final Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks at Newlands, the Boks wilted like petals in the desert in the collisions against the Irish. That performance in Cape Town was fuelled by pride and passion, but this past Saturday the Boks were again flatfooted and decimated at the breakdown and at scrum time. It was sad to watch a nation who prides itself on its physicality bend the knee so meekly against Ireland. There's already nothing going on at the back, and if they can't rely on their forwards to the job, they may as well wave the white flag for the rest of the tour.
Terrible kicking game
Goodness gracious ... how Allister Coetzee would have loved to have Frans Steyn turning the Irish with his 60-metre kicks downfield. Instead, flyhalf Elton Jantjies, fullback Andries Coetzee and scrumhalf Ross Cronjé looked like they skipped a couple of leg days. The Boks hardly sniffed the Irish 22 throughout the match, because they couldn't get territory. And when those kicks went straight down the middle, the Boks' chase line was about as coordinated as pre-school play. Then there is Cronjé box kicking ... first, he shows the opposition he is going to kick with a deliberate action, before kicking it too far for the chaser. Disaster.
Boks need to up the tempo
The South Africans put the All Blacks under pressure in that Rugby Championship match because they played with great tempo. They gave the New Zealanders a taste of their own medicine by having line speed on defence and attacking down the middle with speed and power. Against Ireland the Boks were too passive, with ball in hand and when they needed to defend. Because their runners got the ball standing still, Ireland could kill off any attack with their line speed. The Irish also exploited the Boks' lethargic attempts on defence by recycling the ball well and giving their world-class halfbacks quick ball to attack with.
No creativity in the midfield
How Damian de Allende made it this far in life without being run over by a car is incredible, because he doesn't seem to have the ability to look left or right ... justlike he didn't spot a massive overlap to his left in the first half against Ireland. With two men next to him in space, De Allende kicked the ball straight to an Irish player, who must have bought the Springbok centre a pint of Guinness to say thank you for messing that one up. Outside centre Jesse Kriel also didn't have a good outing, as he kept running into opposition defenders instead of looking for space.