CAPE TOWN – Three big cheers for the Springboks - they are the champions of the southern hemisphere after clinching the Rugby Championship title with a memorable win over Argentina in Salta on Saturday.
Yes, each team only played three matches in the tournament this year instead of the normal six games, but that should in no way detract from the superb achievement of the Boks.
The plaudits should start with the coach, Rassie Erasmus, who has made some shrewd calls.
One of his most important decisions was to split the Bok squad into two teams - one of which beat Australia in Johannesburg and the other recorded a notable draw with the All Blacks.
Erasmus followed this with a week-long training camp in New Zealand, before picking a combination of the two teams for the match against the Pumas.
It all worked out perfectly. The Boks now have more depth in most positions than they have had in a long time, and today they will touch down in Johannesburg with their first Rugby Championship title in 10 years in their luggage.
It is not only Erasmus who should take a bow.
The players have produced something special, and a telling example of that was on display in Salta.
The Pumas were up 7-0 within a couple of minutes, and their passionate fans were urging them on.
Previous Bok teams have crumbled under the pressure in Argentina, but not this one.
Instead, they scrummed the living daylights out of the Pumas, and scored some delightful tries on their way to a comprehensive 46-13 rout.
Trevor Nyakane destroyed the Pumas in the scrums with his power, and Handre Pollard pulled the strings in the back line with aplomb, scoring two of the five tries.
All this of course, translates into a wonderful confidence boost for the Boks with the World Cup just around the corner.
They will arrive in Japan for the showpiece in about 40 days' time with momentum and confidence on their side, and as we all know, a confident Bok is a Bok who can beat anyone on any day.
The Argus Sport