Oval Talk thought it might have been a case of third time lucky when South Africa took on Australia in the Tri-Nations. How wrong it was.
The world champions Springboks are in tatters, mauled 30-13 by the Wallabies to leave the Tri-Nations holders without a point to their name after three matches. There looks to be little way back for Peter de Villiers' pitiful troops.
But forget that. It is their disciplinary record which is the talk of the town after Jaque Fourie was slapped with a four-week ban after a dangerous tackle on Richard Brown in Brisbane.
The outside-centre joins a growing list of South African bad boys after winger Jean de Villiers was suspended for two weeks for a dangerous tackle during the Springboks' 31-17 defeat to New Zealand, while lock Bakkies Botha was banned for nine weeks for headbutting scrum-half Jimmy Cowan in their 32-12 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland on July 10.
And Schalk Burger was lucky to get away with what looked suspiciously like an eye-gouging incident against Australia on Saturday; it went unnoticed.
Spear tackles and headbutts are nothing new in rugby, but the Springboks' win - or should that be lose? - at any cost mentality is plain to see... and OT doesn't like it.
Next September's World Cup in New Zealand may be a distant prospect for some but De Villiers faces a tough task in reorganising his troops before taking to the field in rugby's showpiece event.
In truth, it's sad to see a World Cup-winning side, seeking to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for a record third time, fall into such disarray just 14 months before the defence of their crown.
But, if the Springboks are to wriggle their way out of this sorry mess, De Villiers must stop playing the persecuted and act the professional.
The 53-year-old last week suggested that cheating may be the only way to overcome varying law interpretations.
"As a coach, you don't want to coach your team to cheat, but maybe that is something we are going to have to consider," said De Villiers after South Africa's second heavy defeat to New Zealand in as many weeks.
Sorry Peter, but OT sees little that is underhand about your tactics Down Under - simply a side that has catastrophically failed to adapt to minor tweaks in the rule book.
De Villiers is set to face a SA Rugby enquiry on his return to his home land to justify his comments and the team's performances against New Zealand and Australia. Perhaps a severe dressing down is in order.
At least De Villiers's ability to put his foot in it provides some amusing sound bites for OT to mull over between tests.
South Africa now have a little under a month until they resume their Tri-Nations campaign against the All Blacks, this time on home soil, on August 21.
The tables will be turned in South Africa and it's too early to write off a team - or the coach at the helm - who are the defending world and Tri-Nations champions, dispatched the British and Irish Lions and who were unbeaten this year before this series.
But it's D-Day for De Villiers and if the Springboks fail once again their rivals may have already inflicted the psychological damage ahead of the World Cup.