Boks are ready for All Blacks!

But that assumption is far from the truth as the All Blacks have everything to play for and while they will not lose the title of being the inaugural winners of the Rugby Championship, honour, pride and the minor matter of a world record are at stake.

On Thursday, All Black coach Steve Hansen said that there was an expectation back home in New Zealand for his side to win every Test they play, and that expectation had only been heightened by their annexing of the world crown at the end of last year.

It doesn’t help much that the All Blacks are on a 15-match winning streak and have their eyes firmly set on the (elite) record jointly held by the New Zealanders and the Springboks of 17 consecutive Test victories.

For too long Hansen has lived in the shadow of former All Black and World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, and since taking over the reins at the beginning of the year, he will be eager to walk in his own shoes and establish a legacy as impressive as that which Henry left him.

“Every Test New Zealand is expected to win anyway. Records for us are a by-product of performing. If you perform well enough and you are good enough, you will win games,” Hansen said on Thursday.

“We look first and foremost at our preparation so we can arrive on Saturday to give ourselves a chance to perform well. We have a lot of talent in the group and if we do that then we know we have a good chance of winning.”

But standing between Hansen and his men in black are the Springboks.

Re-energised and pumped with new belief after their walloping of the Wallabies last weekend, the Boks now see themselves on the right path to staking their own claims.

The Springboks have gone on the attack this week, with talk of a team having outgrown the very same growing pains that had even the most passionate supporter doubting whether Meyer and his side had it in them to go back to the top of the rugby world.

Amazing what one handsome beating of an injury-ravaged Australian team can do – but the Boks are suddenly believing in themselves as the number one contenders to dethrone the mighty All Blacks from the summit of world rugby.

The fact that the All Blacks won the last Test played at FNB Stadium two years ago will be of little consequence, and the Springboks will hold onto homeground advantage in front of a crowd that is likely to be close to the capacity of 90 000.

But more importantly, their belief will stem from the rich vein of form of their forwards and the excitement generated by youngsters Johan Goosen and Jaco Taute in the backline.

There can be no greater stage and there are no better teams to play in what many will consider as the ultimate clash in world rugby this year.

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