A costly yellow card conceded by Faf de Klerk epitomised the Boks' woes in their humiliating 27-13 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
If there were any doubts about just how far Springbok rugby has plummeted this year, they were emphatically eradicated in this season-ending Test.
Statistically, little separated the sides at half-time. Wales marginally enjoyed the better of territory and possession, but this was simply a battle between two very poor sides, and yet it was the Boks that produced the most hapless of performances.
South Africa’s fate was effectively sealed when De Klerk made an inept attempt to prevent a pass from being executed by Wales, but only managed in earning a yellow card for a quite deliberate knock-down early in the second half.
As a result of his indiscretion, Leigh Halfpenny slotted another penalty to send Wales into a nine-point buffer, while, soon after, Ken Owens scored. At 20-6, it was game over for the Boks.
More than that, the tactical ineptitude of the Bok coaching staff was shown up as they opted against bringing on replacement scrumhalf Piet van Zyl, with the clueless Springboks left with no one to clear the ball at the breakdown.
Overall, Wales won eight turnovers, while benefiting from the Boks’ seven handling errors as the visitors continued to resemble a side that is utterly out of ideas.
Again, it’s revealing that despite having 57% of possession and 55% of territory, the Boks could not make a single clean break, and could only beat three defenders.
By contrast, Wales completed five line breaks, beat 10 defenders and ran 272m to 211. Moreover, the Boks missed 10 tackles to three as they added yet another embarrassing result to a season that will live on in South African rugby infamy.
Photo: Simon King/CameraSport