Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus again didn’t mince his words after his troops delivered another distinctly substandard performance in losing 18-23 to Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.
It’s debatable whether the South Africans truly deserved to walk away with the honours anyway in a dreary match that confirmed both countries falling standards.
Nonetheless, the Wallabies’ two tries were both embarrassingly charitable.
“To gift 14 points on a platter to a team, you’re always going to struggle to win the game,” said Erasmus.
“We were awful in the second half and played better in the opening half.”
Indeed, the Boks had seemed in control after two well-worked tries stifled a fast Australian start before their wastefulness became too pronounced and placed pressure on them that they simply couldn’t handle.
“I thought our mauling went very well compared to Mendoza, the scrums were good in the first half, but then there were moments when we lost vital scrums and lineouts, so it was a mixed bag of different mistakes,” said Erasmus.
The spectre of yet another 57-0 thrashing at the hands of the All Blacks next week now looms large.
“We are playing the best team in the world, we’ve just lost two matches in a row so the pressure is on us,” said Erasmus.
That’s an understatement.