Just before we close the book on the June Internationals and the Springboks series win over France we have to look at what is expected realistically from the Boks in the rugby Championships.
That the win against the French have been uplifting and great to see after last years effort is something we can celebrate but one need to be realistic on how the Springboks needs to progress to become a contender as one of the best sides in the world as well as having a chance in the World Cup in 2019.
One can see the team is is a total different place than 2016 and that not just the leadership but also the coaching have made a huge difference. The fact that Coetzee have picked inform players from Super Rugby also made a positive attribute to the team and you could see the positives on the field and the supporters starting to back the team again.
This is all nice to see but there should be goals that Coetzee and his team must set themselves if we want to see the progress going forward.
We start the Rugby Championship again with the home and away clashes against Argentina and they have been a bogey side for the Boks of late. A lost in 2015 in Durban and a lost in Argentina last year still does not sit nice with Springbok supporters.
The two matches against the Pumas must be a must win for Coetzee and with what we have seen this year it should not be a problem. Argentina rugby is struggling at the moment with the Jaguares again fading away in Super Rugby and the Pumas losing in June against what can only be called a third English test side.
Next up for Coetzee and Whiteley to beat will be the Aussies and they have been in a free fall this year. I do not think I have ever seen Australian rugby in such a collective bad place than they are right now. The union is fighting the exit of one Super Rugby team, their finances are as bad as it has every been and the players and teams have been poor all year in Super rugby and test rugby.
The players are looking unfit and there seems to be no plan in Australian rugby at the moment.
With the poor form and team we had in 2016 we still beat them at Loftus and this year a home and away must be the only goal for Whiteley team and that will put the Springboks in the running and frame of mind to challenge the All Blacks.
We have to be realistic and except that the only likely winner of the Rugby Championship this year again will be Hansen All Blacks but what we need the Springboks to start doing is win against other nations and compete at least against the All Blacks for now.
The test in Albany should go for the All Blacks but we must see an improvement from last years lost of 41-13.
If all falls into place then we should have an exciting test at Newlands on the 7 October.
This year must be a year of progress for Whiteley and his Springboks and must be something we can see happening now in the Rugby Championship coming up. How much progress they will show we will see come October the 7th.