It’s a welcome breathing space for a team that has been building steadily during this campaign. There is only one cloud, the fate - and indeed culpability - of the colossal lock forward, and potential Webb Ellis trophy winner, Eben Etzebeth.
He stands accused of assaulting two men in Langebaan in the Western Cape in an ugly racial incident just before the squad left for the Far East. It is a story that will not go away and, given our country’s fraught history, should not be allowed to go away. But nor must we lose sight of the constitutional imperative that a person is presumed innocent until proved otherwise.
Delaying proceedings, secret agreements to hold off until after the World Cup suggest that not only does Etzebeth have a case to face, but that South Africa needs him more on the world stage than for justice to be done. This is an abhorrent state of affairs.
But so too is the opposite - the untested allegations and opinions in the court of public opinion that are already convicting him. The only fair and proper course of action is for the law to take its course - now.