South Africa, as a team, must enforced themselves on their New Zealand rivals if they want to avoid a Tri-Nations whitewash.
The Springboks are under pressure to prove their World Cup defence is on track when they meet the All Blacks in their final Tri-Nations hit-out in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Saturday's showdown is just days before both countries announce their squads for the World Cup in New Zealand starting next month.
The Boks are rooted firmly to the bottom of the Tri-Nations table, after losing their three previous matches - including a 9-14 defeat to the Wallabies in Durban last week, when they fielded what appeared to be their strongest available team.
South Africa have made five changes from the side that played the Wallabies, but have again picked most of the players expected to start their World Cup campaign against Wales on September 11 in Wellington.
They will be seeking a convincing performance against a weakened New Zealand team with the All Blacks leaving nine of their leading players at home to rest ahead of the World Cup.
However, in order to break their run of defeats the Boks will have to impose their style of play on the Kiwis at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"We need to force our strong points on to them, rather than allowing them to force theirs on us," stand-in captain Victor Matfield told a media gathering in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
"We believe in a certain style of play, for instance it will be nice to make them throw into a line-out once in a while.
"The last time we played them, I think there were just three line-outs in the whole game because they kept taking quick throws.
"The All Blacks like to play a high-tempo game and they are always very dangerous when the game gets a bit loose.
"It's still the ultimate test for the Springboks, because New Zealand are almost always the best in the world, the team you measure yourself against."
Even if the Springboks win on Saturday, they will still finish at the bottom of the Tri-Nations table.
However, there won't be a lack of motivation, as the Boks look to avoid a first-ever Tri-Nations whitewash.
They have won at least one match in each of the previous 15 Tri-Nations seasons.
Matfield said it was vital his team completed their Tri-Nations campaign on a successful note, before heading to the World Cup.
"It will be very difficult getting on the plane without a win," the stand-in skipper said, adding: "We need to start winning, getting confidence and momentum.
"History is very important, but we need to focus on what is ahead.
"We need to go the distance on Saturday and get our confidence and the belief of the public back.
"Even though the Tri-Nations is gone for us, every Test is important, it doesn't matter whether you're playing for a cup or not.
"You have to take a step up, put in a special effort, otherwise you're not worthy of the jersey. After the haka, it should be a fantastic game."
The veteran lock, who will add to the world record of 61 Tests as a combination with partner Bakkies Botha, was among 20-odd Boks who missed the opening two matches of the Tri-Nations because they were involved in a "rehabilitation camp".
Matfield and the rest of the frontline players returned to action last week, but he feels that winning is the only way to remove any lingering doubts about South Africa's ability to make a successful defence of their World Cup crown.
"There can't be excuses any more about rustiness, we need to be hard on ourselves," Matfield said.
"Personally, I felt very good last week, the break was good because it allowed me to do some running, rather than physical contact. The body actually feels better now than it would normally after the Super Rugby competition."
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