Defending champions South Africa managed to start their campaign on a winning note, with a nailbiting 17-16 squeaker over Wales in Wellington on Sunday.
Despite being dominated by the Welsh for long periods - both in terms of possession and territory - the Springboks got out of a sticky situation and outscored their Northern Hemisphere rivals by two tries to one.
But the Boks had to go to their bench to pull this one out of the bag.
Jan de Koning rates the South African players!
15 Frans Steyn:
Showed great strength for his try and was outstanding with his kicking out of hand, including a couple of monster punts downfield. But, as you come to expect, there was also the occasional silly error.
14 JP Pietersen:
He was great on defence and produced some great kick-chase play, but that was interspersed with the occasional error - including conceding a penalty for a silly high tackle.
13 Jaque Fourie:
There was a great break in the build-up to Frans Steyn's try, with a great run on the angle. His defence was what you come to expect from the veteran, but a couple of knock-ons soured his performance.
12 Jean de Villiers:
He was doing the basics well until he left the field with an injury after 24 minutes. It appears his World Cup injury bogey is still following him.
11 Bryan Habana:
He was good under the high ball in the early exchanges and scrambled well on defence. However, in the second half he put down a couple of high balls.
10 Morné Steyn:
Like most Boks, he had a real mixed bag. He makes goal-kicking look so simple, added some variation to his game - taking the ball flat more often - and showed good tactical appreciation. However, there were moments of hesitation, almost panicking, and he was easily brushed aside by Toby Faletau - showing up his defensive frailties.
9 Fourie du Preez:
Not his best day at the office. Apart from his crisp service, there were too many negatives - hesitation, knock-ons and a iffish kicking game.
8 Pierre Spies:
He conceded an early penalty at the breakdown and in a physical game of close marking he had no real opportunities with ball in hand. The conditions did not suit his free-roaming game.
7 Schalk Burger:
Talk of a mixed bag. He was solid on defence, a real bundle of energy, trying to mow down anything that moves. But he also conceded a tackle penalty and lost the ball in contact at crucial stages with his awkward backwards driving approach.
6 Heinrich Brüssow:
There were two crucial turnovers - one on the half-hour mark and another just going into the final quarter. But his real value was on defence - where he made almost 30 tackles.
5 Victor Matfield:
There was an early steal and while he also, initially, worked hard on defence, it appeared he was still hampered by the hamstring injury he carried in the week. Was replaced soon after half-time.
4 Danie Rossouw:
He had some really good carries in the early stages and a number of big hits on defence. There was also a great line-out steal and hard work at the breakdown.
3 Jannie du Plessis:
He was solid in the scrums, had a couple of really good carries and for most part was good on defence. However, he did miss a couple of tackles.
2 John Smit (captain):
He was really effective with ball in hand in the early stages of the match, but appeared have lost his puff after the break. He also conceded a penalty at the tackle, but overall a satisfactory day.
1 Tendai Mtawarira:
His real value was in the scrums, where he had the number of the Hair Bear, Adam Jones. Some good work at the breakdown and while he was not as effective in carrying the ball, had a fine match.
16 Bismarck du Plessis (on for Smit, 56th min):
The impact he is making ensures he is pressing hard for a starting spot. Apart from a great steal at a crucial; injunction in the game, there were some really good carries and he added a physical presence.
17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Mtawarira, 55th min):
Classic Gürthro Steenkamp - good carries, to go with his hard work on defence and at the breakdown. Definitely brought fresh legs when the Boks needed it.
18 CJ van der Linde:
19 Johann Muller (on for Matfield, 44th min):
He was certainly more effective than an injured Matfield, although he did not make as much of an impact as the rest of the bench.
20 Willem Alberts (on for Spies, 56th min):
He added the [physicality that lacked in the loose forwards earlier in a game that was always going to call for some real muscle. Some really strong carries.
21 François Hougaard (on for Habana, 60th min):
They are not called 'impact players' for nothing. He made a huge difference from the moment he stepped on the field - including breaking tackles and scoring the match-winning try. Yes, there was that one big error (combined with Fourie du Preez), but that can't detract from the fact that he was the game-breaker.
22 Butch James (on for De Villiers, 60th min):
He was into the defensive fray very early, but his game deteriorated - including a poor kick just before half-time when he kicked the ball too deep, a penalty for offside and a few missed tackled.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.