• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • 'Disgrace': The Shocked South African Media Reaction To That Japan Loss...

'Disgrace': The Shocked South African Media Reaction To That Japan Loss...

'Disgrace': The Shocked South African Media Reaction To That Japan Loss...
By Conor Neville
Share this article

The Die Rapport newspaper in South Africa pronounced Saturday 'the darkest day in Springbok history'.

And Jean Smyth, the sports editor of 702.co.za in Cape Town, the station which employs none other than former Irish scrum half John Robbie, gave us a sense of the feeling in the country at the moment. He admits that even until the final few moments he believed that South Africa would surely pull it out of the fire against this opposition.

It's been shock and disbelief. Like most South Africans, I was watching on Saturday night and couldn't believe it as it was happening.

I think we even felt up until 79 minutes, that the Springbooks would just do enough to pull it off. Almost a bit like the All-Blacks and Ireland game a couple of years ago, when the All-Blacks scored in the dying moments. Similar kind of feel. Although you can't compare the two games or the two teams involved certainly...

The defensive effort was particularly poor. The Springboks pride themselves on defence and the last two tries, even the last one, and I suppose this is what pressure does, but to concede it the way they did was really shocking.

The word 'disgrace' is being used quite liberally around South Africa at the moment...

Heyneke Meyer was quick with the apologies following the defeat, announcing that he took full responsibility for the loss. He has borne the brunt of the anger.


I think even if he goes on to win the tournament, by hook or by crook, he's still suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats by a top tier team against a so-called minnow.

There have been a number of calls from groups or political factions calling for his head, but there haven't been any protests or demonstrations.


The game was broadcast on the 'SuperSport' channel and their three man panel for the game consisted of Nick Mallett, legendary former out-half Naas Botha, and Colin Charvis (yes, the former Welsh back-row).


However, only Mallett and Charvis were in place for the post-match autopsy, with Botha absenting himself. This led many to believe he had stormed out in disgust, unable to fulfil his professional obligations, so distressed was he by the humiliating defeat. However, it later transpired that he had merely hopped a flight to London, where he was to be inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame.

At the time, it was thought that he had run away. But actually what transpired was that he had caught a flight to London cos he was inducted into the 'Hall of Fame' last night, so he had to leave early. But yeah, it was trending for a while 'Where's Naas?' (laughs).

Meanwhile, Gavin Rich, writing for 'SuperSport'


It will go down as one of the most famous results in any Rugby World Cup and also surely South African rugby's most embarrassing moment in the history of the game.

But if the truth were to be told, the Boks were also an embarrassment in terms of their passive defence, the arrogance of a captain who early in the game eschewed kickable penalties that would have made a difference to the result - as if he shouldn't have learned his lesson already - and, last but not least, conceding a driving maul try to a pack that was diminutive by comparison. The Bok discipline was abysmal.

The Sunday Times brought us the headline 'Bok Heads To Roll' and compared the loss to Mike Tyson's 1990 defeat to Buster Douglas.


For Smyth, at least, there is an upside.

But Eddie Jones (Japan coach) is brilliant and he's going to be confirmed as the new Stormers coach in the next few minutes. So there as upside from this end...

Read more: Springbok's Shock Loss Blamed On The Most Brainless Reason Imaginable

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com