Warm up the oil, empty the popcorn in the pot, sit back and enjoy the Springboks vs England media sideshow that will play off this week in the build-up to Saturday’s big match at Twickenham.
We’ve already had a taste of it earlier this week, with England coach Eddie Jones saying he would like to claim an “SA scalp” to end of the year, while his South African counterpart Jacques Nienaber played down the World Cup final “revenge” by saying they are looking forward to 2023 and not back at 2019.
I’m sure that message was just to tell Eddie to move on already, ons hou ons nie op met klein skooltjies nie.
I’m sure that the Springboks will know exactly what awaits them on Saturday - it’s going to be brutal. It’s going to be messy. It’s going to be physical.
Kyk, the English feel like they missed out on old Bill because they didn’t pitch up in the 2019 final which they lost 32-12 to the Boks. They have every reason to feel that way. And therefore I feel that the England side that we saw blowing New Zealand away in the semifinal is the one we’ll see on Saturday.
And that spells danger for South Africa.
Now here’s the thing I’ve come to learn about this South African management team; they leave no stone unturned.
The detail these guys go through to study their opponents are really impressive.
Like Nienaber said earlier in the week when asked if they are licking their lips in anticipation of facing an inexperienced England scrum: “I know a lot of people are talking about South Africa’s scrum and the Bomb Squad.
“But in my analysis I’ve done on England in the last month of rugby they’ve played, they had 21 scrums to exit and attack from and they got 14 penalties.
“There’s a lot of similarities between us and them. Against Australia they had four scrums and earned three penalties which is a 75 percent conversion rate...”
The Boks won’t be caught off-guard, they will know what they are up against.
As for the sideshows, when Nienaber announced his team for the match on Tuesday, an English journo hit him straightaway with the question of Rassie Erasmus and his waterboy duties.
There will be a big focus on that in the UK media this week and Eddie Jones will be loving it.
One aspect that will also be used to attack the Boks’ game plan is the fact that there isn’t a single Bok up for the World Player of the Year award.
England has Maro Itoje.
This plays right into the hands of the UK media, who will undoubtedly try to unsettle the Boks with their headlines this week.
Again, Nienaber and his management team will do well to keep the team away from this and shield them from the press and its headlines.
As for the rest of us, it adds to the drama.
Unlike the last time - before Rassie released that video in which he highlighted the referee’s mistakes - when I wrote that they needed to do something in the build-up to that particular Test against the British and Irish Lions, I don’t think South Africa has to do something off the field this time around.
England will try their best to unsettle the team, but it’s water off a duck’s back.
The Springboks don’t have to play the man - they should have eyes on one thing only and that is winning the game.
Not only will it ensure that South Africa finish the year as the top team in the world, but it will also give the Springboks their first clean sweep in Europe since 2013.
If that’s not enough motivation, then I don’t know what will be.
The Poms will give their all to spoil the party, meaning the table is set for a grand finale to 2021.
With the popcorn klaar ge-eet, get the firestarters, get enough wood, get the vleisie and take out your Bok jersey for Saturday 5.15pm - it should be one for the books.