Cape Town - Although the Springboks are still undefeated in this year's Rugby Championship, defeat against the All Blacks in Albany on Saturday will almost certainly mean that they are out of the running for the title.
The Boks drew 23-23 against Australia in Perth on Saturday, but are now three points behind the All Blacks in the standings.
LOG: RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
If the All Blacks win on Saturday, even by the smallest possible log points margin (4 v 1), they will move at least six points clear of South Africa.
A fortnight after that, the All Blacks travel to Argentina for a clash against the Pumas that they will be expected to win comfortably.
Should that happen, then even if the Boks beat Australia in Bloemfontein on September 30, they will in all likelihood not be able to challenge for their first Rugby Championship title since 2009.
Ideally, it would be first prize for the Boks, SA Rugby and the tournament if there was something to play for when the All Blacks visit Newlands on the final weekend of the competition on October 7.
But if the Boks are beaten in Albany this weekend, then that showdown in Cape Town will probably not have any bearing on who the 2017 Rugby Championship champions will be.