The mutual admiration between the two men is clear. After White was quoted as far back as 2001 saying that he thought Coetzee would be the next Bok coach, their current alliance was always meant to be. At the time Coetzee was co-assistant with Jake White to erstwhile coach Harry Viljoen and although Rudolf Straeuli was appointed in 2002, Coetzee and White's time with the Boks has gone full circle.
"Jake has full confidence in us (Coetzee and Gert Smal) and it helps him to remain relaxed and assured that the job is being done," said Coetzee at the team hotel on Wednesday.
Thorough preparation and a relaxed team environment are new hallmarks of Jake White's regime. "We all know exactly what we are doing. We are working towards a common goal," said Coetzee who has been involved some way or the other in SA teams for the past three years.
And Saturday's first Test win over the Irish was the start of what Coetzee hopes is a road that leads the Boks back to the top of the world rugby heap."As coaching staffs go, this is probably the best I've been involved with. Jake and Gert are amazing to work with and although I didn't know Gert all that well, we have slotted in well," said Coetzee at the team hotel on Wednesday.
"He's even smiling," added the former Mighty Elephants mentor with a grin.
"Trust is the number one ingredient. We (the coaches) are here to ensure we improve the Springboks and although there is a long way to go things are beginning to fall into place." To that end the team management have even invested in getting feed-back from the players on several issues, especially on-field plays.
"There is big buy-in from the players. It would be stupid of us to underestimate the experience gained by these guys in the Super 12 and previous Tests.
"Most players aren't scared to make observations and it has led to players being able to think on the field more. We still have a long way to go though."
Centre Wayne Julies was the epitome of that new spirit in the first Test. After a shaky start, despite a fantastic pass to put lock Bakkies Botha away for the first try, Julies came into his own.
Bok teams of recent times have often started a match well, before falling away badly as the game progressed. "When Ireland went ahead 14-11 in Bloem I think many supporters thought 'Here we go again' and in the past, that is when our slide would have started."
However, just three minutes later it was Julies who sliced through the Irish defence to give the Boks the lead, after which they never looked back.Said Julies: "For the first 10 or 15 minutes I was very nervous, especially considering my long break from playing for the Boks, but I felt I finished quite strongly."
Tighthead prop Eddie Andrews was another man who grew in stature as the match wore on. "I always knew that the first scrum would be very important, but I told myself that I have Os next to me and soon I got into it," said the burly front-rower who cried as the national anthem was played before the first Test.
"It's not about the individual, but rather the unit and how to filter the power from behind." Teamwork it seems is the basis on which this Bok team plans to take on the world.
On Saturday that quality will be sorely tested by a wounded Irish team determined to end their season on a high note. Nothing less than a Herculean effort will suffice if the Boks are to emerge with a series victory.