One of the more peculiar and unwanted gifts that the All Blacks possess is their ability to act as a lightning rod for out of form opponents who find themselves under pressure and in desperate need of a win.
It remains one of international rugby's more curious traits that the seemingly hopeless can be almost shambolic for weeks on end, only to meet the All Blacks and produce a quality of performance no one could possibly have guessed was in the pipeline.
There have been so many Lazarus-like stories of teams coming back from the dead, that it can't be denied that there's something about the All Blacks that lights a fire within all those who play them.
England weren't catastrophically bad in the tests before they hammered the All Blacks 38-21 in 2012, but they had been beaten in consecutive weeks by Australia and South Africa and had given precisely zero indication they were on the verge of brilliance as they were that day.
In 2013 Ireland were so easily brushed aside by the Wallabies that it was impossible to imagine they would be anything other than destroyed by the All Blacks a week later.
The home side were unrecognisable, though, playing the best 79 minutes in Irish history to lead the All Blacks 22-17 until their resistance finally cracked.
It's easily forgotten now that when the Springboks came to Wellington in 2018 to play the All Blacks, they did so on the back of successive losses to the Pumas and Wallabies and coach Rassie Erasmus half joked that he would probably be fired if they lost a third straight.
It was an unnerving statement because almost no one thought they had the ability to even get particularly close and yet the Boks, faced up to the haka, seemingly grew an extra arm and leg and played with a precision that was almost beyond comprehensible given how disjointed they had been in previous weeks.
That Springbok victory three years ago carries particular relevance among these fateful resurrection tales because South Africa, more than any other country, know how to use the aura and prestige of playing the All Blacks to transform themselves.
They respond to the history and the rivalry and it would be a significant mistake to not realise that the bumbling, uncertain performances of the last two weeks, will not be what the Boks deliver in Townsville.
They will have too much respect for the occasion – it is the 100th test between the two nations – and their opponent and while they are a team with obvious tactical and technical limitations, it's relatively easy to see where they can make quick and decisive improvements.
From Clive Woodward to Laurie Mains, everyone it seems has berated the Boks for the stunning lack of imagination and risk in their tactical blueprint.
Their conservatism has been fingered as the source of their two defeats to the Wallabies but really, it was their execution more than their strategy which hobbled them.
The problem with having such a heavy reliance on box kicking, driving mauls and rush defence is that when they are not done well, as was the case in Brisbane, it afforded Australia time and space to play at the higher tempo they desired.
The Boks may not be a team the romantics can love, but they are certainly going to be significantly harder to beat if they up the accuracy from last week.
Judging by how awkward they looked when they did try to move the ball last week against the Wallabies, it would be unwise for the Boks to try to reinvent themselves as a ball playing, pass and catch team.
There's no need for them to be thinking radically to see a radical improvement. Being better rather than being different is their path to success and if Faf de Klerk and Handrie Pollard kick better this week, the Springboks will play better.
When they create contestable contests, they exert pressure and build on it. Kicking well is the foundation but the Boks understand that their game-plan is so simple, that it only really works when all the component parts are well executed.
Everything is targeted towards creating pressure. It's about slowing things down, giving the All Blacks no platform and no time and so that improvement also needs to be seen in their set-piece work, which was strangely patchy and underwhelming against the Wallabies.
That's unlikely to have been a true reflection of their ability at scrum and lineout, however, and the All Blacks are no doubt expecting the Boks to target them in both areas as well as increase their defensive linespeed to try to force New Zealand into making mistakes behind the gainline.
The Boks don't have much to throw at the All Blacks but what weapons they do have can be devastating and if South Africa do indeed have one massive effort in them, we will see it this Saturday.