Whichever way Saturday’s match between the Springboks and the Wallabies goes, both sides know they still have a long way to go to match the All Blacks.
That’s the reality of the Rugby Championship at the moment.
Neither Allister Coetzee nor Michael Cheika could get their charges going at the start of the tournament, with the Wallabies currently at the bottom of the pile after losing both of their matches to New Zealand.
Desperation is the key word heading into the encounter.
So how do the two teams square up?
Territory and possession
The All Blacks did well to pin the Wallabies back in their own half in both games.
Exiting their territory has been a problem for Australia and if the Boks want to get the upper hand, they will need to frustrate the Aussies in their own half.
The Wallabies have proven that when they are frustrated, they tend to concede a number of unnecessary penalties. And then you have to get the scoreboard ticking.
Style of play
With running rugby being the desired flavour in world rugby at the moment, none of these teams have perfected the art as of yet.
Similar in execution to date, this match will provide both teams with an opportunity to run hard at their opposition.
The Springboks have a tackle success rate of nearly 80 percent, with the Wallabies even worse with 72 percent.
And while neither of them have really kept the ball “alive” – the All Blacks average nearly 200 passes per match, while SA’s best was 105 in the defeat to the Pumas, the tackle success, or lack thereof, rate of both teams will mean there will be more freedom and opportunity to take the ball wide.
Much has been made of the vulnerability of the Aussies’ lineout.
But the Boks can do much better in general when applying pressure on opposition ball. And that might be something Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager and Pieter-Steph du Toit will target this weekend.