Most describe this game as one of the epic battles which these two teams, in their long history will be involved in. Mutual respect was shown not just for the two teams this week but also from heroes of the days gone by. This weeks build-up is electric and both teams know how much is at stake for them in this single game.
With the All Blacks earning a bonus point last weekend, they almost made it impossible for the Boks to take the Championship throne away from the worlds number one team. In saying that, I remember almost the exactly the feeling with a certain Bulls team when they had to score a massive total against the Reds to qualify for the play-off rounds in 2007, with the same coach in charge.
The feeling all over South Africa is that it is possible for the Boks to achieve this but you are talking about the All Blacks here and not and Aussie conference team. Some elements do work for the Boks this weekend which could help them in their quest to achieve just that.
With the All Black’s having to travel from New Zeeland to Argentina and then to the Highveld will bring in the aspect of jet lag, but we all know that if their is one team that shows time after time that they do not get phased when it come to the big stage, then it is the All Blacks.
The All Blacks will also be without Dan Carter which do bring a different dimension to their game. The All Blacks do not have the best track record at Ellis Park and as it was pointed out this week, the Springboks just love it when they play them there.
Allot of talk has gone into the four try bonus point the Springboks need to get in this game, but I believe we just have to play our normal game for us to be able to score the tries we need to win this Championship. The biggest mistake the Springboks will make is to try and change their game and think they will be able to just run at the All Blacks. They will have to concentrate in dominating the game first and the tries will come with good use of ball in hand.
One aspect that will be crucial is the referee decisions in the game and if both teams can hold their disciple on the field and not concede any yellow cards.
One thing is for sure, we will see one of the epic struggles between these two team as both posses in running away with the score if they are on fire.
2013: New Zealand won 29-15 in Auckland
2012: New Zealand won 32-16 in Soweto
2012: New Zealand won 21-11 in Dunedin
2011: South Africa won 18-5 in Port Elizabeth
2011: New Zealand won 40-7 in Wellington
2010: New Zealand won 29-22 in Soweto
2010: New Zealand won 31-17 in Wellington
2010: New Zealand won 32-12 in Auckland
2009: South Africa won 32-29 in Hamilton
2009: South Africa won 31-19 in Durban
2009: South Africa won 28-19 in Bloemfontein
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht/Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Franco van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein/Juan de Jongh.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau.
Date: Saturday, 5 October
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Expected weather conditions: It’s spring on the Highveld, the beautiful month of October. The weather is expected to be sunny and clear with a high of 26°C, dropping to 13 °C.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)