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The Boks and their missing bonus point

Springbok Captain Jean de Villiers appeared to bridle when I asked him post-Wallaby victory as to whether any perceptions of failure in their 28-8 record win at Newlands about missing out on a four-try bonus point "irritated him".

The man from Paarl, who handles the media better than most, forthrightly said he didn't feel any negativity and if there was it'd surely be largely due to the media pack and their perceptions of what transpired at Newlands on Saturday.

Well he made his point stridently and in good humour, as he so often does, but most of all he missed an opportunity to tell the media what he really thinks. (Yes, yes. I know).

The point was especially highlighted when Wallabies Captain James Horwill followed his Springbok counterpart into the press conference carrying the demeanour of a man who'd been shot in the buttocks with buckshot and was painfully waiting for a doctor see him.

The Boks had hit their target on Saturday but missed at point-blank range the fatal shot.

The Wallabies are currently a team low on confidence but even more worryingly low on real talent up front. And Horwill knows it.

The Springboks tread carefully last week, all of them, shying away from the question about four-try bonus points repeating the well-worn mantra of sticking to their game plan, securing victory first, and then the rest would flow from there.

It'd worked before in drubbings over Argentina and the Wallabies in Brisbane. Quite right too.

Except, they took to the field and turned down a number of goalable penalties from the off, as if they'd superimposed their game plan on the side of Table Mountain for all to see.

Rugby's Harlem Globetrotters were in town for the day it seemed, with Fourie du Preez playing as the point guard.

I mentioned before the game that this was, for me, Heyneke Meyer's biggest test so far as coach. Not only did they need a win but he needed a desired, definitive outcome, the type of challenge that really marks a team.

We've seen it with outfits he's been in charge of in the past, and their response to situations.

Perhaps the most famous of which was the Bulls famously scoring a massive 92-3 win over the Reds in 2007 to earn them a home semi-final - a day in which his team truly believed.

De Villiers pointed out that the only people who would mark the Boks down on the game could possibly be the assembled hacks, but fans who forked out hundreds of bucks on the stands weren't going to be fooled and at various times expressed their frustration, buoyed by the rampant start the Boks had - 23-3 up in the blink of an eye, most expected a mauling.

The fact that the Boks failed to put Australia to the sword, and for the next 45 minutes largely laboured to even get out of their own half, spoke as much to the Wallabies improvement within the game as to a slide in the Boks own game.

When Willie le Roux finally scored, it felt as if they'd picked the lock and would sprint free, but it wasn't to be.

Overall it'll go down as an erratic performance against an Australian side which I think is the poorest that I've ever seen.

The Wallabies Coach Ewen McKenzie, played in the last Australian side to win at Newlands back in 1992 and what he would have given to have the likes of any one of Phil Kearns, Willie Ofahengaue, John Eales or Tim Horan in his side today. I fear this team could plunge yet further which isn't good for Sanzar and certainly isn't good for world rugby.

That the Boks will go into the final week of the Rugby Championship with a chance of winning the competition speaks volumes of their development as a side but for them to be the world's best team they need to put opponents away.

That's what the world's best team would have done on Saturday at Newlands.

_You can follow Jean on Twitter: _ @JeanSmyth