Cape Town - Ignorant selectors, quotas and the European exodus are reasons why the Springboks are a team in ruin, a popular New Zealand scribe believes.
Mark Reason, a columnist for the Stuff.co.nz website, has hit out at the Springbok team that lost 57-15 to the All Blacks in Durban last Saturday, saying they may be the worst South African team in history.
The All Blacks ran in nine tries to record their biggest ever win over their arch-rivals - in 95 years!
The win also saw the Kiwis equal the Test record of consecutive wins for major Test playing nations, with 17.
It’s a record they now share with two former All Black teams and the Springbok team of 1997/98.
But Reason feels the All Blacks were some way off their best at the weekend.
He wrote: “The All Blacks didn't play particularly well. TJ Perenara's service was all over the place, and would have caused real problems if South Africa had anything approaching a rush defence. The lineout, most unusually, lost a couple of throws.
“Beauden Barrett was poor for fifty minutes of the game, pushing passes, kicking badly and failing to control the territorial strategy until the coaches got in his ear at half-time. Even the greats, like Ben Smith and Kieran Read, made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes.”
But so woeful were the Boks that they still lost by a record margin, Reason believes.
“The truth, for those who care to go over Sunday morning's match, is that South Africa were abysmal. This is not hindsight. A few weeks ago I predicted that South Africa were so bad that they might well lose by a record score and margin in Christchurch. Sorry, I was out by one match. The towelling happened at home in Durban, an even greater humiliation.
“The current All Blacks selection group might just be the finest of all time. Time and time again they are proved right, even when they apparently go slightly off road. And this might just be the worst selected South African team of all time, thanks to ignorant selectors, quotas and the European exodus.”
Reason was particularly scathing of the performance of Bok centre Juan de Jongh.
“The continued selection of Juan de Jongh in the midfield is a farce. The guy's defensive reading of the game and tackling ability are at least two levels below international test rugby. He was taken apart at the weekend by a rookie.
“De Jongh played a part in at least three of the All Blacks tries, including their two opening tries, missing crucial and straightforward first-up tackles.
“When Liam Squire gassed de Jongh on the outside in the second half, South Africa rugby literally had its head in its hands in the shape of Tendai Mtawarira, on the sideline, who could not believe what he was no longer watching.”
CLICK HERE to read Reason's full column on the Stuff.co.nz website