South African rugby was left to pick up the pieces after twin defeats over the last week.
One was the Springboks’ record 38-3 loss to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday and the other the surprise defeat in the race to host the 2023 World Cup.
In the other, council members voted in favour of France on Wednesday – despite World Rugby’s recommendation that South Africa was the preferred candidate following a much-maligned independent report.
As the stunned national rugby bosses indicated in the aftermath of the vote, that is water under the bridge and the Rainbow Nation will have to wait for at least another four years to have another stab at hosting the World Cup.
Time, on the other hand, isn’t something embattled Bok coach Allister Coetzee is blessed with. A win today against France in Paris is non-negotiable if he dreams of still having a job by Christmas.
His stocks plummeted even further in Dublin, having just nine wins in 22 Test matches in charge to show for his endeavour.
It seems Coetzee’s time might be up regardless of the outcome of the last three matches in Europe, so he’ll be as desperate for a win today as the frustrated rugby public. Especially against France.