OPINION: #RWC2015: Wales a cause for concern for the Boks
Everything points to a Springbok victory over Wales this weekend and for them to reach the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. So get cracking on booking that last-minute flight to London.
A number of days extra rest, a seemingly fully fit squad to choose from, Wales on the ropes with injury again, the after-effects of a titanic tussle with the Wallabies and well, history: played 30, won 27.
The Springbok environment since I parachuted in last week ahead of their game against the USA has been one of serenity personified. I'd missed the deep, dark trauma of Brighton, the resurgence of Birmingham where Samoa were put to the sword & Scotland's capitulation in Newcastle.
Results-wise, the second-half demolition of the USA seems to point towards a team hitting their rhythm and heading towards its peak. Perfectly timed, never in doubt; a plan coming together.
My concern is that the Springboks haven't been properly tested in this tournament. Foolish, you might say, in that they lost to Japan but my view on that it was largely one of sport's 'perfect storms' that come along irregularly to keep us coming back, it's a defeat that almost doesn't count, in a weird way.
That's not to undermine the enormity of the Japanese achievement but rather to point towards the context of what it actually meant to the Springboks chances at this tournament, and that's to say probably quite little.
The three subsequent victories have seen the Springboks glide through their 'processes' racking up impressive wins and conceding just one try.
It's been arguably the easiest passage into the quarter-finals of the tournament with the scheduling bonus that's seen additional rest ahead of their next game. It all points in one direction on paper certainly, which is exactly where the game isn't played.
Wales: bruised, battered and blunted in their defeat to Australia but if they can lift themselves off the canvas this weekend they've shown they have character by the bucket loads.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton cut defiant figures on Saturday night post-match citing their game between the two, a win at the Millennium, and two narrows defeats in South Africa in 2014, as reasons why they have the belief they can win.
Wales certainly don't seem to fear the Springboks any more.
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