Cape Town - Former All Black coach Graham Henry feels the Springboks have lost their aura of invincibility.
According to SuperSport.com, Henry wrote a column in a New Zealand newspaper following last weekend’s rugby action.
Henry commented after the Springboks lost 26-20 to Ireland at Newlands.
Ireland’s shock win was their first over the Springboks in South Africa in eight attempts.
Their feat was made all the more remarkable considering they played the majority of the match with 14 men, after flank CJ Stander received a red card.
"What was alarming for me in the Bok loss to the Irish was the total lack of passion and commitment for the jersey,” Henry wrote.
“In my time as All Black coach we played against Bok teams that we knew didn't have the talent and skills of us, but by g.., you knew you were in for an absolute war. That fire and pride seems to be dying slowly and I am struggling to understand why. A once feared opponent and now they are struggling to compete with top tier nations..."
Henry, 70 coached the All Blacks between 2004 and 2011 - a stint which concluded with the 2011 World Cup title.
The Springboks will look to resurrect matters when they host Ireland in the second Test in Johannesburg on Saturday (17:00 kick-off).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Ruan Combrinck
15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Rhys Ruddock, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath
Substitutes: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran