You do not have to look far to understand that any test between the All Blacks and the Springboks is something special.
Throughout the years this has been one of those test matches that just brings out the self believe in either one of the teams even when a certain team are down than out.
Since rugby turned professional it was mostly the Springboks that had to dig deep to beat the All Blacks. The record books will show that they have been the better team when they meet on the rugby field.
This weekend test will be another huge spectacle, not just for the game but for both teams.
I remember how Jake White spoke about the importance of winning against England before the World Cup 2007 was for the team to believe that they can take them on in the pool stages.
This is even more relevant for both sides to get that edge working towards next years world cup when they face each other in the first weekend of the tournament.
If you look back at the history of Springbok rugby you will find that we always had that huge forward pack that can dominate or at least be on par with the great teams out there.
Without a solid pack that is doing their job you will not beat the top teams in the world and that is a fact.
Luck or no luck, but the reason the Springboks won the test in Wellington was because of their defence. It created pressure on the All Black team with the Springboks scoring two tries from that pressure.
The All Blacks have been the one side in the world that thrives on the mistakes of other teams.
Their ability to turn pressure defence into tries put them above any other team in the world.
Now add the skills and their quality players to that and you have a team that have been dominating the world scene for more than 9 years now.
So to beat the All Blacks it comes down to doing the basics of the game 100% for 80 minutes and use the opportunities that comes your way.
Even Jake White was praising Erasmus this week in saying that the Springboks are busy going back to their strengths, which is a solid platform with even greater defence which allows them to score tries.
‘I remember being in France and getting criticised for the Boks being too defensive, but we finished the 2007 Rugby World Cup with the leading try-scorer, the leading points-scorer and the trophy.
People say “that’s not how you play the game,” but the Boks are showing that’s exactly how you win.
South Africa understood that reality in 2007 and it looks like we’re starting to understand it again. Some of the other sides in the world don’t grasp it; they’ve been seduced by the perception that passes and offloads and sidesteps win matches. They don’t see the whole picture.‘
All of this and especially the Wellington test need to be taken in as a first step of still a long journey ahead for Rassie Erasmus Springboks.
We said it before, beating the All Blacks at home does not suddenly make everything right in South African rugby.
We must remember that in June, Rassie Springboks won two and lost two.
In the Rugby Championships the Springboks started well at home against the Pumas with a bonus point win in Durban but then had two really poor performances in Argentina and Australia.
Against the Pumas they were not even close to be in the game to win it and in Australia we seemed to be panicking and at the end throw the game away more than Australia won it.
Last weekend test in PE was a win but it was as ugly as you can get.
The team never pitch up for that second half and only desperate defence at stage won us the game. There was plenty of opportunities to put Australia away but we just made to many mistakes.
To win a test on a day you are so way off is also a good thing for the team but that should not be the norm for the Springboks. You can not have the same off day against the All Blacks.
The Boks are defending very well now which have some good signs about the the team and their systems put in place by Rassie.
Their defence have created opportunities but only in the Wellington test it really came off.
AsHansen often talks about the players’ backsides edging a little closer to the front of their seats following a loss. Can the Boks find it in themselves to go the same way following a victory?
If they can then the rebuild of South African rugby has definitely started and the rest of the world should be put on notice. If not then we might have to wait a while yet.
Call me a dreamer but what ever happens on Saturday at a packed Loftus, the hope from is at least that we are starting to go back to the great rivalry between the All Blacks and the Springboks which made this the greatest test of them all.