Meyer's 'safety-first' style of rugby is dull viewing
The easiest way to lose your job as a Springbok coach is to change whatever it is that got you the position in the first place.
Harry Vijoen did it, and so did Rudolf Straeuli, but current Bok coach Heyneke Meyer is aware of the need to avoid this pitfall.
Meyer has graduated from the coach whose (Blue Bulls) Vodacom Cup team of 2001 ran the ball from anywhere to the bloke who coined the phrase: "Attacking rugby puts bums on seats, defence puts trophies in the cabinet."
The first South African coach to win a Super rugby title also gave us this gem: "Ballroom dancing is a contact sport, rugby is a collision sport."
Meyer's philosophies - which were generated by experience - are almost like beacons on his CV.
They are what got him the Bok job. So it would be daft for him to change now.
His reluctance to change his ways has shown itself in the people with whom he has surrounded himself, and sticking to the pattern of play that has served him well in the past.
It is an admirable approach aimed at making even the uncontrollables controllable. But Meyer may be playing it too safe.
Surrounding himself almost exclusively with people he knows excludes the possibility of having anyone other than Rassie Erasmus to challenge his thoughts on the game. His playing philosophy - he calls it "winning rugby" and the rest of us call it "attritional rugby" - is a pattern he patented 10 long years ago.
After it built the Bulls' dynasty, it was borrowed by the Boks and has been studied by international sides to such a level that teams are finding it easy to counter.
Watching the Boks fluff their lines in Mendoza, one couldn't shake the feeling they were still trying to use the lineout and kicking out of hand as their main weapons of play.
It didn't help that the players put in place of Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez were not up to the task.
Meyer knows better than most that playing patterns should not be imposed on players.
The pattern should be designed with the players' strengths in mind.
Everything Meyer does is aimed at giving us the impression he is sure of what he is doing, but the glimpses we see of him in the coaching box show something else altogether.
Having coached the Boks in only five games, he tends to resemble Wallabies coach Robbie Deans with his desperate yells.
Meyer's emotional acceptance of the coaching post was endearing, but now it is starting to look like he wanted the job so badly, he's afraid of making it his own.
The door is ajar: he should be bold and go forth, not over-think it.
His selections have also shown uncertainty or a mistrust of the unfamiliar.
Jacques Potgieter persistently gets promoted beyond his current station simply because he's big and powerful.
However, the slighter Keegan Daniel gets little chance to prove beyond any doubt that he is up to playing rugby at international level.
The ambitions of the gifted Pat Lambie and Elton Jantjies are stymied because an unproven 19-year-old (Johan Goosen) appears to be the new "Liefling" (Derick Hougaard).
Meyer has a deep pool of talent from which to choose, but his choices seem to be safe, aimed at damage control rather than creating a rambunctious team that could conquer the world.
Meyer has an opportunity to take South African rugby away from its stampkar reputation, but that's starting to look like a pipe dream with each passing draw.
We know Meyer wants to win every given Saturday, but there's nothing wrong with losing in the name of trying something new.