To dominate world rugby you have to have a halfback partnership that can dictate a game flawlessly.
This bit of news shouldn’t be new to anyone.
Turn the clock back to the start of Rugby World Cups.
In 1987, scrumhalf David Kirk captained New Zealand to victory, with the safe boot of Grant Fox on his outside.
In 1991, No.9 Nick Farr-Jones led the Wallabies to victory, with the legendary Michael Lynagh next to him.
It was the duo of Joost van der Westhuizen and Joel Stransky that ultimately combined for the three points that won South Africa the 1995 World Cup.
There was also the Wallabies’ George Gregan and Stephen Larkham in 1999 – the list goes on.
And herein lies the problem for Allister Coetzee.
He is missing this ingredient — among others it has to be admitted — to make the Springboks strong again.
As much was evident in their 41-13 defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.
In that match, it seemed like for every little thing Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies did right, they had to undo it with something wrong again.
Jantjies, in particular, was frustrating to watch.
After conceding two penalties for being offside, the Bok pivot could only watch as his opposite number, Beauden Barrett, successfully converted the penalty kick (3-0).
The Springboks, who did most of the defending in the first quarter of the match, then had their first breakthrough after veteran Bryan Habana rounded off a great team move by cutting in from the right wing to give the visitors the lead (7-3).
Jantjies then knocked on the ball from the restart, handing the All Blacks an attacking scrum.
And after quick hands from hooker Dane Coles, Israel Dagg dived over in the corner to put the All Blacks in front again (8-7).
Coles was again in the mix in the 28th minute when he made the final pass to Julian Savea out wide for the All Blacks’ second try.
This time Barrett converted to make it 15-10 at the break with Jantjies also slotting home a penalty for SA.
South Africa needed a confident start in the second half.
And then Jantjies kicked the restart straight into touch – just to add to his misery.
De Klerk got in on the action and a few minutes later also kicked a ball straight into touch.
The little No.9, though, failed again throughout the match to stamp his authority on the forwards and his service was too slow, adding to the pressure on Jantjies.
Furthermore, his lack of communication with his forwards led to his opposite number Aaron Smith getting too much space around the fringes.
When Ben Smith and Ardie Savea got the All Blacks’ third and fourth tries respectively, the writing was on the wall for the Springboks who defended atrociously in the second half.
Sam Whitelock also crashed over to add to the try-fest, before replacement scrumhalf TJ Pernara also exploited the gap next to the Bok scrum to touch down for the final try of the match (41-13).
South Africa only managed a Jantjies penalty in the second half, with the All Blacks scoring a total of 26 points.
It was a game of two halves for the Boks, but coach Allister Coetzee will have to dig deep for the home matches against the Kiwis and Australia.
Putting the blame for their performance squarely on the halfbacks would be wrong, though.
There are several other issues as well – such as their poor defence, unforced handling errors and inability to play at a high intensity for 80 minutes, but one thing is certain, the Boks need a dominant halfback pairing.