For the avoidance of confusion and ultimately a nasty surprise and bitter disappointment, it's best to assume South Africa are potential winners of this World Cup.
They are still, arguably, the biggest threat to the All Blacks at this World Cup - even without captain Jean de Villiers who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a fractured jaw.
Unbelievably it is not the same fracture he recently broke - but the Boks have midfield cover and in Victor Matfield a ready made replacement captain.
Which means they are still a team that has a few bullets left to fire and a team that no one in New Zealand should feel any complacency about playing.
That fact got last when they were beaten by Japan - which made even good analysts start to think that while the Boks would still fight their way through to the last eight, they were harbouring too many old legs that couldn't go the distance and didn't have the form.
That view was challenged at Ellis Park where South Africa delivered an 80-minute performance that stacked as the most impressive delivered by any side to date.
It didn't have the same depth of character as Wales' victory at Twickenham, but that's because they weren't required to show it. Samoa couldn't do much to put the pressure on. That wasn't so much down to their own failings, it was due to the relentless physicality of the Boks who thundered into every collision - with and without the ball.
There's nothing subtle about it or unexpected but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with them when the play like that.
Their lineout destroyed Samoa's, their kicking and chasing was excellent and in the final quarter of the second half, South Africa were devastating with ball in hand. The speed and ferocity of their movement was frightening.
It was scarily physical and total and it may take for them to dust Scotland off in the same way, for the penny to drop across the globe, that losing to Japan was simply an inexplicable, one-off result that makes sport what it is. South Africa are not in terminal decline and look more like equal favourites with the All Blacks.
Derided for their lack of ambition, South Africa couldn't be more misunderstood at times.
It's a basic right and common sense for teams to play to their strengths, which in South Africa' case is the power and size of their ball carriers and their ability to win the collisions.
Why bother to go round defenders if the ability is there to go over the top of them and South Africa may not create space as easily as the All Blacks, but with ball in hand, they were equally effective - just the methods are different.
What's also going to make them especially dangerous now is the clarity and emotional energy they have taken from losing. The players and coaching staff met early last week and connected with what being South African means. Head coach Heyneke Meyer reckoned that the rest of the world had stopped fearing South African forwards and that needed to change. There were also, according to Meyer, some frank discussions about what wearing the Springbok jersey should mean to the players.
"We really want to make the country proud," said Meyer. "There is a lot of bad in South Africa but a lot of good as well. Our country needs a lot of hope and the Springboks give a lot of hope.
When the Springboks go well, we give them that hope. We were under pressure before the tournament started. There is a lot of pressure back home and the Springboks are always going to be under pressure.
"We are a proud nation which means when you win and score four tries it is still not good enough."