It is a question of desperate times for both the Australians and the Springboks when they meet in Brisbane on Saturday.
None of the two teams had a great international season so far in 2016, matter of fact none of the two countries had a great Super Rugby season as well and maybe we should have seen this coming.
In a way the Aussies is a uncertain entity this year for the Boks as they had lost their two game in this years Castle Rugby Championship against the best rugby team in the world and one kind of expected that to happen whereas the Springboks scrape through the test in Nelspruit and lost in Argentina which does not not give a pretty picture as well.
This does not give Australia a free pass for loosing to New Zealand because although the All Blacks are that much better than any other team, they have managed to put two poor performances together with poor defense and set pieces that have been the worst we have seen from a Aussie side.
As with the Springboks the Aussies does not seem to be in control on attack and most of the times does not really know what to do with ball.
This is exactly where Coetzee and his players needed to have been concentrated on this week. If they can quickly unsettle the Aussies in the set pieces they may get them rattled again and that would be the opportunity to get on top of this test.
The Springboks, although poor on attack for most parts of the two test have produced better forward performances but it is still not close to what we need from a Springbok team.
Test rugby is not pajama rugby, you need to do the basics right and do is faster.
A must for the Springboks will be to unsettle their two fetcher, Pocock and Hooper, and hit the rucks hard and as a pack. If the Springboks loose the contact areas they will loose the test, it is that simple. De Jager and Etzebeth need to step up and Coetzee will need them to be brutal.
The jury will be out on the changes that Coetzee made in his backline. Most supporters in the week did not have much of a problem with Hougaard at wing and even Juan de Jongh that was included in the midfield carried the support with De Allende form being questioned the whole season.
The talk of the week was Jesse Kriel inclusion in the midfield as many believed that he should have given Mapoe a change with a another partner like De Jongh.
Let’s face it De Jongh has been a organizer on defense for the Stormers and Western Province since Jacques Fourie left the union and he has the experience to have guided Mapoe at international level but the coach seemed to have gone for combinations.
The Aussie have lost a few players to injuries and they are not a settle team with different combinations taking the field the last couple of weeks. They have a number 10 running out this week in the midfield which can not be ideal for test rugby.
Putting aside Hooper, Pocock and Folau you have a pretty ordinary team going on the field against the struggling Springboks.
The Aussies do seemed to have gone a few steps at least better that the Boks in development and even with Coetzee making changes to the team for the test after the Argentina lost it is not changes most can jump up and down for.
The biggest question for both teams coaches will be the one of defense, with both teams fielding a new midfield, question marks still for both coaches will be if they made the correct choices.
At flyhalf both teams have players that have not shown at international level that they are their yet. Jantjies have struggled to get into the game plan of Coetzee and he seemed rushed at this level which put the team under huge pressure.
His kicking out of hand and for points have been poor and we have left allot of points between him and Morne Steyn on the park.
Genia and Cooper will be an important pairing for their coach and he will need them to produce the performance of yesteryear.
One can talk allot of the players that should have been their and the one’s that should not have been but these players have been chosen and we will have to wait for Saturday to see who comes out as the winner.
Players to watch out for:
For the Springboks De Jongh have a huge responsibility on his shoulders in defense and on attack with the hope that his sevens experience can benefit the Boks on Saturday and will be a key player in the backline.
One need the forwards to be playing as a pack and not as individuals, so a solid scrum will be expected from the front row and the two locks to fire with all they got. Etzebeth in his 50th test need to have a big one for the Boks.
The Aussies will depend a hell of allot on Hooper and Pocock to slow the ball down for the Boks and for them to take this one they need a stellar performance from Cooper and Genia.
2015: Australia won 24-20 in Brisbane
2014: South Africa won 28-10 in Cape Town
2014: Australia won 24-23 in Perth
2013: South Africa won 28-8 in Cape Town
2013: South Africa won 38-12 in Brisbane
2012: South Africa won 31-8 in Pretoria
2012: Australia won 26-19 in Perth
2011: Australia won 11-9 in Wellington
2011: Australia won 14-9 in Durban
2011: Australia won 39-20 in Sydney
2010: Australia won 41-39 in Bloemfontein
2010: South Africa won 44-31 in Pretoria
2010: Australia won 30-13 in Brisbane
2009: Australia won 21-6 in Brisbane
Prediction: This is difficult for all the wrong reasons as both teams are struggling with a game plan and have been poor this year on defense and attack.There set pieces have huge question marks around but at the end playing in Australia give the Aussies the little bit of advantage and one would go with Aussies by very little at the end.
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Reece Hodge, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Dean Mumm, Adam Coleman, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), Scott Sio. Replacements: Tatafu Potla-Nau, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani, Drew Mitchell.
South Africa: Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Elton Janties, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Oupa Mohoje, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jaco Kriel, Morne Steyn, Lionel Mapoe.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)