The battle lines have been drawn and both teams have stepped over it, calling out their opponents for the ultimate dala.
Cape Town Stadium will be the venue where the world champion Springboks and the best of the British Isles will fight to the death.
With Lions coach Warren Gatland winning the off-field battle and the first match and SA Rugby's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus returning the favour in the second match, there’s nothing either of these gentlemen can do leading up to the third Test.
They have played their off-field cards already, and now it’s up to the players to win it for their respective teams.
That brings me to Saturday.
Now if you thought the second Test – which the Boks won 27-9 after losing the first encounter 22-17 – was brutal, then wait until you see this decider.
I was stunned to hear there were people who didn’t enjoy last week’s showdown, saying it was boring.
Nee meneer, it was beautiful. Passion, guts, determination and a will to succeed in every aspect of the game tops a mooi Sonny-Bill pass, or fancy tries that don’t win you the game.
Mooi was nog nooit lelik nie. But results matter and if you look at how the Lions are playing, I think it’s a feather in the cap to South African rugby.
They are trying to beat Jacques Nienaber’s men at their own game.
So with the tactics being mirrored, it will come down to execution and winning the collision on the day.
Man for man, neither of these guys will back down.
MOMENT OF MAGIC
Therefore, I predict a tight encounter that will be swung possibly by that one moment of magic.
And this is where I am calling on Springbok right wing Cheslin Kolbe to do his thing. Rightfully touted as one of the best attacking players in world rugby, Springbok fans are still waiting for that bit of class in the Tests to date.
The table is set Cheslin, be that spark.
On the opposite side of the pitch, the Boks will have to watch Josh Adams carefully. A knack for scoring tries, he will be hungry to step up in his first Test on the tour.
While the moment of magic might win the match, both teams will need consistency throughout to stay in the game.
And here the change at scrumhalf for the Springboks is huge. Nienaber explained that he chose Reinach instead of Jantjies as De Klerk’s replacement, because it was a like-for-like sub.
I disagree somewhat. I see Reinach as a more opportunistic No.9 – the way Faf used to be.
He will speed up the play a bit and won’t hesitate to snipe if he sees the gap. Who knows, he might even do a Ricky Januarie.
But it’s how he kicks from behind the base that will determine how the Boks fare in this game. The Lions brought back Ali Price, so I expect them to use his left foot a lot.
SET PIECE DOMINANCE
A scrumhalf can’t be a factor without a dominant pack of forwards and the old cliche will ring true on Saturday again – the battle will be won up front.
Here the selection of Franco Mostert on the blindside flank for the Springboks must be highlighted.
I’m sure not everyone understood why the Springboks would go for him instead of a player in the mould of Marco van Staden or Kwagga Smith – even Rynhard Elstadt. They are true loosies.
One reason could be that he is a must-have in the lineouts. Secondly, do yourselves a favour and see who made the most tackles for the team in the last Test. Yes, you’ve guessed it.
Now Mostert is perhaps not known for his ball-carrying ability, but with Siya Kolisi on the other side of the scrum you will get that option.
Like Du Toit, Mostert is one of the hardest workers on the field and his selection hints that the Springboks know that hard work pays off.
That’s why the performance of left wing Makazole Mapimpi impressed me so much last weekend.
The new line in the Bok camp is that they are looking for the warriors who can do the stuff that doesn’t require talent.
Mapimpi worked his socks off in the match. After the first half I said to the wifey, I don’t know what to make of his performance.
By my count he conceded three penalties on his own, but I didn’t want to fault him for it because he worked so hard. And then the second half came and he just confirmed where my vote should go for the Man of the Match award.
The Boks need 23 Mapimpis on Saturday if they are to once again send the Lions back to the British Isles with their tail tucked between their legs.