If the Springboks go on to make history by becoming the first team to win the Rugby World Cup after losing a Pool game, they may end up looking at the third quarter in Yokohama on Saturday as the most significant 20 minutes of their campaign.

As both coaches kept reminding us before and after the All Blacks’ 23-13 win, the loser was never going to suffer a significant blow to their chances of going all the way. The result of the game would determine who would gain a psychological advantage should they meet again in the final in November, but little else. And that sort of thing sometimes doesn’t count as much once you reach final time.

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