Cape Town - Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points following the Springboks’ 25-10 loss to England in the third and final Test at Newlands:
1. From Impis slipping, to Boks sliding...
There was a comical moment shortly before kick-off when the traditional Zulu Impi dancers slipped their way through their pre-game routine.
The Boks unfortunately followed suit and struggled to master the treacherous conditions.
Reports in the build-up indicated that it was the last Test to be played at Newlands, and if that proves to be the case, it would be a sad Springbok farewell for the famous old ground.
The loss will see the Boks slip one spot to No 6 in the official World Rugby rankings on Monday.
WATCH: Springbok Impi slip - and fall - at Newlands
2. Jantjies’ Test woes continue
It’s fair to say that Saturday's Test was a horror show for Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies.
The pivot’s early penalty miss set the tone for his match at a wet Newlands - a ground where he often struggles.
Jantjies’ blunders included overcooked kicks, two fumbles and a charge-down.
It’s one thing to play well behind a dominant Lions pack at high altitude, but another to do so in the pressure cooker of Test rugby.
Jantjies has now played 26 Tests and one wonders how many more opportunities he'll get... ?
3. Ill-discipline costs Boks
The Springboks’ discipline let them down in the wet on Saturday.
According to statistics post-game, the Boks conceded 14 penalties compared to the six by England.
Many of those penalties came on the ground where the visitors bossed proceedings.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus called New Zealand referee Glen Jackson “trigger happy” due to the vast number of penalties he awards at the breakdown area, but in the same breath said his side had prepared for it but could not execute the way they had trained.
In the end, the number of penalties conceded cost the South Africans and it was England captain Owen Farrell’s six penalties that proved the difference.
4. Wet weather warning sign for Boks
It was evident from this past month’s rugby action that the Springboks perform better in dry conditions.
The England series was clinched with consecutive victories on the highveld (Johannesburg and Bloemfontein) but the English clearly adjusted better to the atrocious conditions at Newlands.
The Boks also struggled in wet conditions when they lost their first Test of the 2018 campaign to Wales in Washington DC.
England coach Eddie Jones said after Saturday’s match that the conditions at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan could be similar to what was experienced at Newlands.
This means the Boks have some work to do ahead of the next year’s showpiece...
5. Rassie would have taken a 2-1 series win
The Bok coach was understandably disappointed with his side’s effort at Newlands, saying afterwards they “were terrible”.
But looking at the series as a whole, I’m sure Erasmus would have taken a 2-1 victory beforehand.
After the horrors of the past two seasons, a second-string Springbok side flattered to deceive against Wales and Erasmus was under pressure heading into the England series.
Several players made their mark in the series, indicating that the future of Bok rugby is perhaps not as gloomy as some might have believed.
Players like skipper Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Thomas du Toit, RG Snyman, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard, Aphiwe Dyantyi, S'bu Nkosi and Willie le Roux all deserve a mention.