There were periods during a pulsating first Test match between the world’s No 1 and No 2 ranked rugby teams when the words of former Ireland player now turned pundit Bernard Jackman were threatening to become eerily prophetic.

As a guest on a podcast I was part of, Jackman was as pessimistic as most of the Irish media were ahead of their meeting with the world champion Springboks. He was expecting his team to lose, but he saw one faint glimmer of hope or possibility — with new assistant coaches there was a possibility the hosts might be caught between different games...

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