The Boks are expected to beat Canada in their last pool game on October 8 to progress but for that to be a certainty they must get the better of Italy on Friday (11.45am, SA time, kick-off).
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus knows just how important this week’s match in Ecopa is.
“Overall, a few boxes were ticked (in the nine-tries-to-nil 57-3 win against Namibia) but there is still a lot of work for us to do,” he said after the match in Toyota on Saturday. “We always said there were four important games for us at the World Cup - beating one of New Zealand or Italy in pool play and then the three knockout games - the quarters, semis and final.”
So, having lost first-up to New Zealand, Italy - who’re two-from-two following wins against Canada and Namibia - is a must-win.