All Blacks supporters expecting another dominant performance against the Springboks from their team following big scores against the Wallabies and Pumas over recent weeks have been warned: "It won't be easy."
The South Africans, under new coach Allister Coetzee, are struggling with a new game plan and new personnel, having lost their last two tests to Australia and Argentina, but their desperation to prove a point will take them to a new level against their traditional foe, said fullback Israel Dagg.
"No game is easy," he said. "Obviously the scoreline blew out in the weekend but it doesn't show how tough that game was. We were under the pump for the first 40 minutes. Argentina had us under a lot of pressure in that first half. Just before halftime their prop nearly scored a try and that would have put us under even more pressure.
"No matter the scoreline, we're always sore. If you ever come to a review, which you probably won't, they're pretty honest. They'll tell us what we need to work on and they won't say anything about what we've done well. And that's good ... we want to be told how to get better."
Assistant coach Ian Foster called the clash a "massive test".
"The players know inherently that this is a massive test match and one we're looking forward to greatly because every year All Blacks v Springboks is just about at the top of the list of the games we look forward to.
"I'm sure they'll be hurting after a couple of losses and I'm sure that's all they need [as motivation]. I'm sure if we were in that same situation we'd be hurting and I know how we'd try to respond. That's why we're under no illusions about the scope of this week.
"We know how tough these games are and we know the ability [they have]. They're certainly playing with a lot of intention, the Springboks. They are moving the ball and we've seen them, if you give them any space they can be very dangerous. We're expecting another one of our traditional battles."
He added: "We're preparing to play a team that historically, and I'm talking the last three or four years, have beaten us and pushed us really close. They're always physical, the breakdown's a massive battle, the set piece is a very even contest and they've got backs that can play."
In the midst of a 14-test winning streak, the All Blacks are evolving their game week by week, adding new things and taking away others. One of the most noticeable features was their kicking game. Whereas there was plenty of aimless kicking in the test between the Boks and Wallabies at Brisbane last weekend, the All Blacks are kicking with purpose and accuracy.
However, unlike in the World Cup pool matches in which they deliberately held back in certain areas, including kicking out of their own territory, Foster confirmed that most of their cards are on the table.
"Will our game evolve and change over the next six months? Yes there will be some tweaks, but right now we're not holding anything back."