The assortment of South African reaction is as fascinating as the tremors from their World Cup loss to Japan.

Many who inhabit the Highveld back the methods used by Heyneke Meyer since his days with the Blue Bulls. That trend creates some issues about the transformation numbers Meyer is supposed to have in his squad but that is nothing new in the Republic.

Meyer continued to rely on or feel comfortable with many of the old guard who had boosted his international record. That strategy held together until losses on the tour to the UK last year then three recent Rugby Championships defeats.

That results sheet began to look pock-marked while Meyer's RWC squad also had a tatty appearance.


Captain Jean de Villiers was just back from knee and jaw problems, Victor Matfield jogs to his lineout expertise, Duane Vermeulen, Fourie du Preez, Francois Louw, Willie le Roux, Coenie Oosthuizen and others were carrying injuries.

Then Japan scythed them into the Brighton turf.

An observation came from former prop Ollie le Roux before the Japan test that time had passed the Boks by if they continued to use a group with 880 test caps. They were a great group--but that was well in the past.

Developing a side for a World Cup took two years and Meyer had not begun that process nor had he been able to attract enough coaching staff with the requisite experience to counsel the squad.

There was still talent in the Springbok group but not enough to carry them through seven top performances in succession. He did catch himself and suggested if the Boks got their game going they could still make a mess of Japan.

All the confusion is now in the Springbok camp with a revised target of six decent games in a row.

While an upbeat Japan take on what must be a shade nervous Scotland on Thursday, the Boks are left wondering if they can put together six performances.

Their next test is against Samoa in Birmingham.


That match will set new decibel ratings as both sides are strong proponents of offensive defence while if our dear old chum Wayne Barnes referees the test with his usual vision and the new TMO instructions, there may be reduced numbers.