Cape Town - The Springboks will be up against it when they face the All Blacks in a Rugby Championship Test in Albany on Saturday, if recent history is anything to go by.
It’s often called rugby union’s greatest rivalry, but sadly from a South African perspective, the rivalry has been lopsided in recent times.
Overall, the countries have played in 93 Tests, with New Zealand winning 55 to South Africa’s 35, with three games ending in draws.
That gives the Kiwis a 59% win-ratio, compared to 38% for South Africa.
The Springboks may well be the most successful Test nation in history against the All Blacks, but they've let their prominence slip since the advent of professionalism.
Many will be surprised to note that when Francois Pienaar’s men won the 1995 Rugby World Cup final by beating the All Blacks 15-12 at Ellis Park, the Boks in fact held a positive 21-18 win-loss record against the All Blacks!
Rugby turned professional and since then, the All Blacks have won 37 matches compared to a meagre 14 by South Africa.
The Springboks have also lost nine of their last 10 Tests against the All Blacks and their last win in New Zealand was in 2009, when Peter de Villiers’ side won 32-29 in Hamilton.
Last year, the Boks suffered humiliating defeats in Christchurch (41-13) and Durban (57-15) in what was a horror first season in charge for Allister Coetzee.
The Boks have however shown marked improvement this year, beating France 3-0, before back-to-back wins against Argentina was followed up by a 23-all draw with Australia in Perth.
But their real test will come this weekend.
A South African loss in Albany will in all likelihood also ensure New Zealand another Rugby Championship title.
Last weekend’s drew in Perth means the Boks are now three points behind the All Blacks in the standings and a New Zealand win, even by the smallest possible log points margin (4 v 1), will see them move at least six points clear of South Africa.
A fortnight after that, the All Blacks travel to Argentina for a clash against Los Pumas - a game they should win with relative ease.
Even a victory for South Africa against Australia in Bloemfontein on September 30 would then not give them a chance to win the Rugby Championship when they host the All Blacks at Newlands on October 7.
South Africa’s last win in the competition was when they won the 2009 Tri-Nations.