The Springboks are piecing together a bigger picture.
Whatever the outcome of their match against the All Blacks in Wellington this weekend might be, it's all part of the building process.
The South African side comes into their fourth match of the Rugby Championship as one of three teams with a win and two losses. With two bonus points to their name, they sit only behind the All Blacks in the standings.
Captain Francois Louw admitted a blowout loss against the All Blacks could see their fans call for changes, however assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said bringing together a squad that could win an individual game was not what they are about.
"We realize as coaches, as management – and this is driven by (head coach Rassie Erasmus) – that if we have to get fired for an individual loss or series of losses but we started a process that will develop a team that will be competitive at the world cup that represents South Africa as a nation united, that's what the squad is about," Proudfoot said.
"If (Rassie) has to get fired as director of rugby or as coach then so be it, but for management, we're prepared to service this team and what Springbok Rugby, what South African Rugby stands for – that it's competitive through the World cup for the next 10 years.
"If winning or losing games along the way, even against your biggest foe, are there then so be it. I know Rassie and that's been his directive from day one. When he brought us on board, he said that's what I want, that's what we're here to do."
The Springboks have lost their last two matches, falling to Argentina and Australia after beginning their Rugby Championship campaign with a win over the Pumas.
While Proudfoot said the side were improving week by week, Louw reiterated that while the World Cup was the main goal to build toward, their fans expected the side to be competitive now.
"The South African expectation's always been results-driven for South African, for the Springboks to get victories. With our performance being a little bit up and down so far in the Championship, there's a big expectancy for us to get back on track.
"The All Blacks is always a big derby match for us as a nation; it's our long-standing foe so it's always an exciting fixture to be a part of. The underlying feeling will definitely be for us to come back and get back on the winning track."