Springboks beaten by England:

Gallo Images

Springboks beaten by England: what the papers say

We look at the media backlash after Allister Coetzee’s hapless South Africa were mauled by the English lions in London as their miserable run goes on.

Springboks beaten by England:

Gallo Images

The Springboks were mauled by the English lions in London on Saturday in a result that didn’t surprise many. Here’s a look at what the media in both hemispheres made of the 37-21 scoreline in the first Test match of their outgoing tour to Europe.

Times Live lamented a “predictable” defeat in their summing up, while adding this grim thought for good measure: “The Boks are now on track for their worst season in the professional era with games against Italy and Wales to come in the next two weeks.”

Ashfak Mohamed also looked on aghast at “an uninspiring group of men” in green and gold. The bulk of his ire, delivered on the IOL website, was reserved for beleaguered coach Allister Coetzee for suggesting he was all set for his players to “embrace a more positive style of play, and holding on to the ball a bit more, but that was clearly a smokescreen designed to try and fool Jones.”

The UK’s Independent managed to scrabble around on the deck and find a positive, hailing Willem Alberts as “South Africa’s most impressive player as he did the hard yards and was also an unavoidable target in defence. A shame that those around him didn’t match his levels.”

Also in Blighty, the Guardian’s Paul Reece wondered aloud if the South African side had been “lobotomised”. Not a word that should be appearing anywhere near a description of a supposedly elite sports team. Also in those pages, Michael Aylwin described the comedy try that left no one back home laughing.

We’ll return to home shores for the final word, witheringly delivered by Sport24’s chief writer, Rob Houwing, as he ran through the Springboks with about as much ease as the opposition in his player ratings.

He slapped JP Pietersen with a mark of 3.5/10 – and here’s why: “Abjectly disappointing for a player of his proven pedigree. Just didn’t look comfortable whether going backwards or forwards, and it was his spilled high-ball gaffe in England territory that immediately led to counter-attacking try before half-time, a crucial demoraliser for Boks after they’d been hanging in pluckily.”

Pretty unhappy all in all, then. Fingers crossed for Italy next week.