It is the last home game for the All Blacks in 2014, and it could be the most challenging if the Springboks bring the attacking and less kicking focused style promised to the media this week.
The Springboks have been a side under the spotlight this week.
Just as the news broke that the SARU were thinking about implementing a system which would force the Springboks to field 5 black players in each starting XV, for many reasons up to and including racial balance, the selectors sprang another surprise when they put 20-year-old Handre Pollard in as starting fly half.
Pollard, with next to no Springboks experience, was chosen him over Morne Steyn, a usual Springbok regular who is known as one of the best kickers of the ball in world rugby.
Steyn was left out of the Springboks squad altogether for tonights clash with the All Blacks in fact.
The 2014 Rugby Championship campaign for the Springboks has been described as pedestrian, almost losing to Argentina away from home two weeks ago, and then going down to the Wallabies in yet another international rugby match marred by controversial refereeing decisions.
The problem with the Springboks against the All Blacks, and one where the All Blacks punish more than other international teams, is that they stick too much to systems.
The ball is kicked too much, and short of the occasional line break and pushover try from a strong scrum, it feels like the Springboks don’t move up the field a positive way, choosing to make ground through the air rather than up the guts. The ball doesn’t get to the key players enough because it is kicked away, and when you play the All Blacks, putting up a bomb on the halfway line just isn’t effective.
The side has the manpower to match the All Blacks physically, it has always been like this.
If the Springboks can deliver a more exciting and gutsy running game, take their chances on goal, and keep the discipline relatively clean throughout, it will go a long way to delivering a special win on NZ soil in their captains 100th game tonight.