In a tense buildup to the 100th Test between the Springboks and All Blacks on Saturday, readers have installed the New Zealanders as firm favourites.
The All Blacks reclaimed first place in the World Rugby rankings last week after completing a double hammer blow to Argentina’s plans for 2021, while the Boks took their eye off the ball and ran themselves into trouble in a second successive loss against the Wallabies.
In the space of a fortnight, the world champions have surrendered their No 1 status to New Zealand along with the growing sentiment that South Africa was on the cusp of again producing a team that backs up World Cup success with a southern-hemisphere title.
It will be the first time that the Springboks and All Blacks face each other since the 2019 World Cup in Japan, where New Zealand tasted victory with a 23-13 win. The Boks would recover from that early setback to go unbeaten through the rest of the tournament and win the final against England.
The Springboks’ shaky run of performances going into this weekend’s match has clearly affected the fans’ confidence in the team being able to come out with a victory.
After a poll run on SARugbymag.co.za, over 70% of readers gave the Boks 40% or less of a chance of beating the All Blacks.
Just 11% of those that voted were ultra-confident in the Springboks, giving Jacques Nienaber’s team an 80% chance of winning in Townsville.
However, fans that voted on the SA Rugby magazine Telegram channel were far more positive, as the majority of the vote – 35% in fact – went to the Springboks getting a 60% chance of a win.
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