Rugby Championship: Be wary of the Springbok hype, says Thinus Delport
Thinus Delport says ignore the New Zealand spin doctors; South Africa go into this game as underdogs.
Last Updated: 11/09/13 2:59pm
However playing the world champions, the number one team in the world on their home patch is another proposition altogether. It is going to be a massive, massive test for the Springboks.
There has been a lot coming out of New Zealand about how good the Boks are playing under Heyneke Meyer and how they are offering something different in the backs. The Kiwi spin doctors are very smart and they know how to play the psychological battle as well as they do the physical battle - and Test match rugby is just as much about the psychological aspect as it is about the physical one.
No matter what the All Blacks are saying, South Africa go into this game as underdogs. They are still developing and this is the next step of their development - just because they beat Australia does not mean they are going to turn up in Auckland and turnover the All Blacks; that is a naive view.
There is no doubt that the Boks have evolved in the second year of Meyer's reign. The players who he has brought in have changed their approach a little bit and they do offer a little bit more than the set-piece dominated game.
However, saying that the weather will play a part in how this game is played.
It will be forward dominated while looking for territory with the boot. South Africa have stuck to the same team that beat Australia and once again that 9, 10, 15 axis is going to be very important. They will need to win the field territory battle - in fact their kicking has to be spot on because the counter-attack threat from the All Blacks could be costly.
It may be wet but the All Blacks have shown in the past that they can play their game in all conditions. They have the confidence and the skill to move the ball around no matter what the weather. It all starts upfront for the Boks - we saw how Argentina put the All Blacks under pressure in that area and the Springboks will look to do the same.
If South Africa can record another away win then that would be fantastic but what I want to see is a real positive, competitive game that goes down to the wire.
Win or lose, the Springboks have to show a competitive edge, an edge that they can build upon in the return fixture in South Africa. Whoever wins this game will not necessary win the Rugby Championship - that may go down to the final game in Johannesburg on the 5th of October, so making sure you are competitive is vital.
By pushing the All Blacks to their maximum performance levels on their home patch will certainly sway the psychological battle South Africa's way come October.