BRISBANE – The Springboks' Rugby Championship challenge goes up a notch next week but coach Rassie Erasmus says a Test against New Zealand will be easier to prepare for than their Australian encounter.
While the Wallabies prepare to take on the Pumas, South Africa's challenge only increases as they prepare for the world No 1 ranked All Blacks.
After a 46-24 win over the Pumas on Saturday night, the All Blacks will be red-hot favourites but Erasmus said in some ways that made them a more straightforward prospect.
"I think it's much easier to go and play against the All Blacks, not because they're an easy team," he said.
"I think you're just so much the underdogs by far that people don't expect you to get into the mix at all. It's just an easy game to go and prepare.
'Where here, the Wallabies and Michael and his team was back to the walls, it looked terrible the All Black results but we know how well they played up until halftime the first two games against the All Blacks and one or two refereeing decisions I felt for them in those NZ games.
"Although it was big results I thought the momentum had swung against them or one or two decisions."
Erasmus said his team had the potential to compete with the All Blacks but lacked composure in the crunch.
"It's sometimes easier to go there and prepare for a team like New Zealand," he said. "I think if you ask Michael Cheika he'll tell you the same.
"I believe in this team has the potential but at this stage maybe not the experience to pull some matches in crunch situations like this one and last week also in Argentina when we had the opportunities in the last few minutes."
"But we'll keep our mouths shut now and get onto that plane and go and do our best in New Zealand.
Erasmus made wholesale changes to his side for the Brisbane Test and said when it came to selections, the equation was simple.
"We have to find the right combinations and I think the challenge is to find it quick enough or get fired. One of those two," he said.
"If you don't find it quick enough you're out of here, if you find it then we start winning and we get the right combinations it's great for the nations if not we know what the consequences are."
The Springboks fly to New Zealand on Sunday ahead of next Saturday's Test against the All Blacks in Wellington.
African News Agency (ANA)