There were glimpses World Cup winning potential as the Springboks beat the All Blacks on their turf just over a week ago but the South Africans are not taking the Wallabies lightly as they strive to rectify their poor showing in Brisbane.

South Africa were breathtakingly good in their first win on Kiwi soil since 2009 and if they play to that standard in Port Elizabeth the Wallabies will likely be staring down the barrel of another defeat.

Matches between these two sides are never that simple, though.

Six of their last seven Tests have been decided by less than seven points and both of last year’s clashes ended in stalemates.

All seven of those Tests were arm wrestles and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick believes that has plenty to do with the similarities between the two teams.

“If you look at the last three years against Australia, it was 1-1 in 2016 and last year it was the same with two draws and we lost in Brisbane this year,” Stick said.

“We are in a similar phase were we are both rebuilding.

“They have lost some of their experienced players… they got Kurtley (Beale) and (Will) Genia back and they are talking about getting (Adam) Ashley-Cooper back into their squad.

“Faf (de Klerk) is now back for us. I think the teams are in the same situation with losing players to Europe and we are doing everything to get ours back.

“We are trying to rebuild and get back to where we belong.”

If the Boks can replicate the level of rugby played in their last start they will be back where they believe they belong in no time.

That was a topic raised in the immediate aftermath of the win over New Zealand, according to star halfback Faf de Klerk.

“Our main goal has been to become a consistent team, not just a team that is one week, great, and the next, off,” de Klerk said.

“That one thing we focused on straight away… we have spoken about need to replicate this and up our performance.

“On their day I don’t think Australia is a worse side than New Zealand so I think this is just as tough for us.

“We have to make sure to get the detail right and if we do, passion and pride will come naturally.”

Those details were left wanting when these sides met just over a fortnight ago in Brisbane.

The Wallabies emerged with a scrappy 23-18 win as the Boks’ ball handling crippled their ability to turn pressure into points.

“We were almost our worst enemy in that game… they put a lot of pressure on our scrums and lineouts and and at ruck time and we couldn’t get out of our half because of that pressure,” de Klerk said.

“Every week we count the opportunities we create… (in Brisbane there were) so many times could have scored and didn’t.”

Being on the wrong end of the result the last time these two sides met coupled with the wariness of a wounded Wallabies outfit has the Boks primed to fire in Port Elizabeth.

The stakes are still high, too, with the win over New Zealand keeping their Rugby Championship hopes well and truly alive.

“(The Wallabies) are hurting and we have recently been there so we are not going to underestimate them,” Stick said.

“They have a good coaching staff and you look at Beale and Genia, who on their best day can destroy any team.

“It is always good to beat the All Blacks but we are not going to underestimate the Wallabies.”


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