9 most embarrassing moments in Bok history

2017-11-13 14:02
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks’ horror defeat to Ireland in Dublin was yet another dark moment in the history of South African rugby.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is now under severe pressure to keep his job, having won just nine of 22 Tests in charge since taking over last year.

Unfortunately for Coetzee, some of those losses amounted to the most embarrassing in the long, proud history of Springbok rugby.

There were a few poor results in the 1960s and many can still recall the 3-0 series loss to the British Lions in 1974, but Sport24 decided on NINE of the most embarrassing Springbok defeats.

Here they are, in most recent order:

1. November 11, 2017: Ireland 38-3 Springboks, Dublin (coach Allister Coetzee)

The Springboks’ heavy defeat was another unwanted record set by the team under the coaching tutelage of Coetzee.

The 35-point difference was the Springboks’ biggest ever defeat against Ireland - comfortably eclipsing the 32-15 defeat in Dublin in 2006.

Since Coetzee took charge last year, the Boks have racked up a few unwanted records:

- First ever home defeat to Ireland
- First ever away defeat to Argentina
- First ever defeat to Italy
- Worst ever year in Springbok history with four wins from 12 Tests
- Most points ever conceded against New Zealand (57) in both 2016 and 2017
- Biggest margin of defeat ever - against New Zealand (57-0)

2. September 16, 2017: New Zealand 57-0 South Africa, Albany (coach Allister Coetzee)

On points difference, this result was the worst in Springbok history.

It was men against boys and the Test painted a bleak picture of the current state of South African rugby.

After starting the year with five successive wins and a draw, few would have thought that the Boks would slump to an even lower low than last year’s 57-15 drubbing in Durban.

3. November 19, 2016: Italy 20-18 South Africa, Florence (coach Allister Coetzee)

It was Italy's first ever win over South Africa in 13 attempts.

Few expected a Springbok defeat, although many predicted them to struggle their way past the 13th-ranked Italians.

As predicted, they did stumble and fumble - but forgot to eke out the victory!

4. October 8, 2016: South Africa 15-57 New Zealand, Durban (coach Allister Coetzee)

The All Blacks’ nine tries to nil romp at Kings Park saw them equal the-then Test record of consecutive wins for major Test playing nations (17).

It’s a record they went on to break when they beat the Wallabies for an 18th straight win a few weeks later.

Bok fans were in disbelief following that horrendous result, but little did they know what lay in wait later in the year and in 2017.

5. September 19, 2015: South Africa 32-34 Japan, Brighton (coach Heyneke Meyer)

This match at the Rugby World Cup in England remains one of the worst results in the history of Springbok rugby.

The bookmakers had the Boks to win by 44 points, but the South Africans were outfoxed by a smarter team who knew they had to move the ball around against their bigger, more fancied opponents.

It was arguably the greatest upset in the history of rugby union, with many of South Africa’s top provincial teams likely capable of beating Japan.

6. July 15, 2006: Australia 49-0 South Africa, Brisbane (coach Jake White)

The rampant Wallabies ran in six tries to record their biggest win over the Boks.

After the result, Springbok coach Jake White was flown back to South Africa to explain himself to the country’s rugby bosses.

White was almost fired, but kept his job and went on to lead the team to World Cup glory in France the next year.

7. July 19, 2003: South Africa 16-52 New Zealand, Pretoria (coach Rudolf Straeuli)

This game was part of a "dark period" in Springbok rugby.

Coach Rudolf Straeuli and captain Corne Krige suffered humiliation when the Boks were pummelled by their greatest rivals at Loftus Versfeld.

The final whistle marked one of the lowest points in South Africa rugby history as home fans were left to contemplate a then record losing margin (to New Zealand) with the All Blacks running in seven tries to the solitary score from Bok wing Ashwin Willemse.

8. November 23, 2002: England 53-3 South Africa, London (coach Rudolf Straeuli)

Springbok lock Jannes Labuschagne was sent off in the 23rd minute for a late and dangerous tackle on English flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson.

It was a setback the Boks could never recover from as they suffered their heaviest defeat at the time - a record which stood until September this year.

Things got so bad that a frustrated Bok skipper Corne Krige, attempting to throw a punch at a ruck, accidentally knocked out his own flyhalf, Andre Pretorius!

Krige in later years admitted that it was the one game where he completely lost his cool, knowing that nothing could be done in order to avoid defeat.

Krige said the game had taken two years off his career and he was also upset as he felt some of the Springbok players gave up.

“In a sense - and this might sound bizarre - I would rather do what I did than chuck the towel in, as some of the other Springbok players did,” he wrote in his autobiography.

9. April 3, 1982: South Africa 12-21 South American Jaguars, Bloemfontein (coach Dr Cecil Moss)

The South American Jaguars competed in eight Tests against the Springboks between 1980 and 1984.

The Boks won seven of them, but the sole loss stands out as a shock result in the history of Springbok rugby.

The Boks had thumped the Jaguars - a South American team made up of mostly Argentines - 50-18 in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, only to be stunned 21-12 at the Free State Stadium the following week, with legendary Argentina flyhalf Hugo Porto proving instrumental.

Dr Moss, who sadly passed away last month, described the loss in only his second Test in charge as a "shock result".

He wrote in his autobiography many years later: "To say that I was dismayed, disappointed, and disheartened was putting it mildly. It seemed incredible for such a swing in technique, motivation and style of play could take place in merely one week."

*Note: Sport24 hopes this list does not reach double figures in the near future...

Read more on:    springboks  |  herman mostert  |  rugby


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