Ireland opened their World Cup with a 32-17 bonus-point victory over Namibia but Pool D rivals France and Argentina will be rubbing their hands in glee after watching this debacle.
Coach Eddie O'Sullivan had demanded Ireland put one of the group's whipping boys to the sword, but instead a disjointed and error-strewn display will have left him deeply concerned.
Namibia, who have never won a World Cup match and ship an average of 70 points every tournament outing, even dominated a dramatic second half.
Tries for Jacques Nieuwenhuis and Piet van Zyl rewarded the Africans' heroics after the interval to reply to first half scores from Brian O'Driscoll, Andrew Trimble and Simon Easterby before a penalty try awarded by French referee Juel Jutge brought up the bonus point.
Jutge also gave substitute Jerry Flannery a controversial late try when replays suggested the Munster hooker failed to ground the ball.
Ireland's second-half collapse looked out of the question as O'Sullivan side raced into the lead with just three minutes on the clock.
Full-back Girvan Dempsey cantered into space down the left wing and when the ball was recycled O'Driscoll chipped ahead and ran onto his kick.
Only Ryan Witbooi could stop him but the Lions centre easily shrugged him off before placing the ball down over his head for his 30th Test try.
Ronan O'Gara set up the second when, seeing no one was at home for Namibia, he took a quick tap penalty and launched a bomb to the right corner and Trimble gathered before touching down.
With number eight Denis Leamy in blockbusting form, Ireland set up the field position for Easterby to burrow his way over from close range.
Namibia won a penalty on the stroke of half-time and with most of the crowd at the Stade Chaban-Delmas willing the ball over, Emile Wessels obliged.
But they were back under pressure early in the second half and Jutge responded to two collapsed scrums by awarding Ireland a penalty try.
The final quarter was a different story, however.
Winger Heini Bock slipped through a huge gap in the opposition backline, found Jacques Nieuwenhuis in support and the big blindside thundered over in the 61st minute.
Wessels nailed the conversion, then Piet van Zyl touched down just three minutes later.
Wessels added the extras to leave Namibia trailing just 27-17, only for Jutge's blunder for Flannery's try to deliver a cruel late blow.