It was as recently as August 23rd when South Africa found themselves where Ireland are now.
They had just escaped with a miraculous 33-31 victory over Argentina in a match where they lost four of their six scrums and were embarrassed like rarely before at the resets.
Since then, Heyneke Meyer has overseen a steady improvement in that area which culminated in their rag-doll treatment of Ireland last Saturday.
The key was South Africa had been through the mill, had been given the precious resource of time to find answers to the pointed questions that rained down on them back home.
The clenched fist of scrum coach Greg Feek, while speaking calmly, out in Carton House on Wednesday said more than all the words about the ineffective way Ireland dealt with South Africa's set-piece last Saturday.
The victory was "bitter-sweet," according to Feek, for the Irish front five as they had to review a scrum and lineout demolished by the Springboks.
The excuses of early season syndrome and South Africa's engineering of the outlawed hit-and-chase just won't wash away the feeling that they should have been able to solve the problems.
Feek was quick to accept responsibility for pushing the protocols, for concentrating on the discipline that was a central force in Ireland's scrum in the Six Nations.
The former All Black illustrated an emphasis for being straight and legal, resisting the temptation to drive early or collapsing under the weight of pressure.
Maybe, Ireland ended up worrying too much about what they shouldn't be doing rather than what they needed to do.
That is why the arrival of Georgia provides a quick shot at redemption in an area of the game the visitors take a pride similar to that of Argentina.
It is all very well to talk-up the new found depth of the Irish front row.
It is quite another to go out and produce against a second-tier nation that will stake their pride, not on winning, but on what they can do at the scrum.
"This is Georgia and there's just as big a contest up front," said Feek.
"Maybe they're not as synergised as South Africa were but they still do it every week in the Top 14.
"We can't take anything lightly."