The last time the All Blacks really handed the Springboks a pakslae was in 2011.
Back then, coach Peter de Villiers had one of the strangest teams lining up against New Zealand in Wellington. South Africa lost that match 40-7.
And De Villiers had played flyhalf Morné Steyn at fullback, his pack consisted of guys such as Dean Greyling, Werner Kruger, Gerhard Mostert, Allistair Hargreaves, Deon Stegmann, Jean Deysel – all of whom failed to reach 10 caps for the national team.
Snorre went on to beat the New Zealanders with his “real” team at home the next month.
Allister Coetzee’s Springboks are also in deep trouble. But surely they can’t be worse off than the bunch that played the All Blacks five years ago.
Only two members of this weekend’s run-on XV have not yet had a taste of matchday action against the All Blacks — Faf de Klerk and Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Du Toit is seasoned enough to hold his own, while De Klerk is perhaps the one that will be targeted by the Kiwis tomorrow (9.35am).
He has failed so far to manage the pack of forwards and this will be exploited by his direct opponent, Aaron Smith.
Still, all the talk leading up to the match has been about the Boks getting a big hiding from the world champs.
But they have the necessary know-how in the squad to prevent this from happening.
The All Blacks will run you to pieces in the last 30 minutes of a match and that’s why it is so important for South Africa’s bench to spark.
Malcolm Marx is in to bring something different to what Adriaan Strauss puts on the table.
That’s why he was swapped with Bongi Mbonambi.
Marx is a tigerish player that has the ability to provide a spark at the end of the match.
Then you’ve got veteran Willem Alberts. Having been flown in from France, Alberts has a point to prove.
He will provide the experience, big hits and presence needed to remind the All Blacks that the Boks are still on the park.
Livewire Jaco Kriel will bring some momentum and a calm head in Morné Steyn that can slot a late penalty to win a match, and a player in Damian de Allende – that with one good run can set up a winning try.
This is the ideal scenario for Coetzee, who has always preached a “build an innings” approach to the game.
It all depends on the starting XV though. And keeping the game close in the first half and then the 10 minutes after the restart.
If the Springboks can do this, we might be in for an entertaining morning’s game.
The form book, though, says this might just be wishful thinking.