Cape Town - Malcolm Marx's heroic display in Saturday's 25-24 loss to the All Blacks at Newlands was perhaps the biggest indication that the future of South African rugby might not all be doom and gloom.
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It was the 23-year-old Lions hooker's 10th Test cap, but it was surely his biggest yet and one in which he showed just why he is so highly rated in South Africa and abroad.
Marx ran with purpose, tackled ferociously, was immense on the ground and, most importantly, found his jumpers at lineout time for a complete performance.
Regardless of what the post-match adjudicators decided, Marx was the best player on the field by a country mile, and his impact was felt by everyone involved.
At Saturday's post-match press conference, Marx's name was mentioned multiple times.
His fitness and continued commitment to the national side is absolutely critical to the Springbok cause, and he must now surely be treated as the Boks' most valuable asset.
"They were quite brutal at that breakdown. I think Malcolm Marx made about 10 turnovers," All Black hooker Dane Coles commented after the match.
The official stat was four turnovers for Marx, but with 11 tackles and 14 carries added to that, one could forgive Coles for over-emphasising Marx's impact.
"He played bloody well tonight. His lineout was good, he got some good carries and a lot of turnovers. He's got a big future in the game."
Bok prop Steven Kithsoff, after his first Test start, also praised Marx for his efforts, while coach Allister Coetzee referred to him as "outstanding".
"Malcolm is my boytjie," Kitshoff said.
"He's one of my good friends in the team and I'm really proud of him. He's been playing 80 minutes for a couple of games in a row now and he's absolutely a beast when it comes to the breakdown, carrying and defensive work.
"He's going to have a long Springbok career".
The next assignment for the Boks is their end-of-year tour over November and December where they will take on Ireland, France, Italy and Wales.